RNC Chairman Michael Steele Claims He's Not Part Of The Republican "Establishment"

May 19, 2010 6:39 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on Fox News to discuss the results of last night's elections.  During the interview, host Neil Cavuto suggested that far-right candidate Rand Paul's (R-KY) primary victory over Trey Grayson was evidence of "bad blood" between the Tea Party movement and Republicans.  In an amusing exchange, Steele not only rejected Cavuto's claim, but insisted that he is not part of the Republican "establishment."

STEELE: Please don't mix the Republican Party establishment -- I don't know who that is, by the way. 

CAVUTO: You! You! You! You, you, you, you, you!

STEELE: Neil, have you been reading my press lately? I don't think the last thing you can say is that I'm part of the establishment here.

CAVUTO: That's true, because everybody hates you.  I'm kidding. 

The issue of Steele's popularity notwithstanding, he is, as he stated earlier in the interview, "the national chairman of the party." If the RNC chairman is not part of the establishment, then who is?


Update: ThinkProgress notes that Steele has called himself "the de facto leader of the Republican Party."