Will Michael Steele debate his rivals for RNC chair?

Jonathan Strong Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.
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Every declared candidate for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC) has confirmed his or her attendance at a Jan. 3 debate co-hosted by The Daily Caller and Americans for Tax Reform except for one: Michael Steele, the current chairman.

Will Steele show up for the debate?

Only he knows — most of his top staff aren’t involved in his re-election bid. Steele didn’t respond to an email.

Already, he was a no-show for a Dec. 1 candidate forum held by FreedomWorks, where Steele’s record was a major focus.

“Chairman Steele is a fine man, he’s a good man and he’s always been good to me personally,” said Gentry Collins, a former top Steele political hand who resigned for a shot at his job, but “The party under his leadership failed to raise the major donor money.”

Since that forum, Steele stunned D.C. Republicans by formally declared his candidacy.

In an announcement letter, Steele boasted of his record as chairman over the last two years.

“The RNC’s expanded donor base also reflects the RNC’s success in building an energized grass
roots,” he said.

Clearly, Steele remains adamant that his tenure has been a success. So why not hash the issues out in a public forum?

Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel has vowed the debate will be both “fair” and “tough.”

It will also be the most “technologically advanced debate ever conducted,” he said.

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson will question the candidates at the debate, which will be live-streamed at dailycaller.com. Follow-up questions will come from users on Twitter. More information can be found at: www.rncdebate.org