Former RNC chairman Michael Steele wanted brokered convention

Alex Pappas | Political Reporter

Michael Steele irked fellow GOPers while serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee by speaking excitedly about the possibility of a brokered convention.

“You know, we’re going to end up with a brokered convention, a convention that’s going to mean something!” Steele reportedly told big money donors while chairman, according to the soon-to-be released book “Inside the Circus.”

Steele served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2011. Under his leadership, the RNC mandated that some states no longer award all of their delegates to the winner of primary contests — which makes it harder for a candidate to lock up the nomination earlier.

The Daily Caller obtained a copy of the new eBook, authored by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas, ahead of its Tuesday release.

An open convention would mean no candidate would win the required 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination outright before the Republican National Convention in August.

That’s the scenario that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich –trailing behind front-runner Mitt Romney — are hoping for. But it’s a possibility that other Republicans fear would hurt the chances of the party unifying to take on President Obama in November.

“This guy thinks it should go all the way to the convention,” one of the businessmen is reported to have said to a Romney adviser after hearing Steele’s comments. “Isn’t that bad?”

The eBook also reports that GOP donors supporting Romney worry that a brokered convention could lead to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin being drafted onto the party’s ticket.

The authors quote a fundraiser who said “slightly more than half the delegates” to the convention “are evangelicals” who wouldn’t get behind alternative candidates like “Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan.”

“It’s probably Huckabee-Palin or Palin-Huckabee,” the fundraiser said.

The authors reported that that scenario was “enough to scare the Wall Street crowd into getting out their checkbooks” for Romney.

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