By Molly K. Hooper - 01/21/10 07:27 PM EST
House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) took a shot at Republican
Party chairman Michael Steele Thursday for holding a GOP retreat in Hawaii.
Cantor, who has differed with Steele over Republican chances to retake the House in 2010, indicated he wasn’t crazy about the idea of RNC members relaxing on Hawaiian beaches when asked whether it was the right kind of image for the party to project.
“Chairman Steele has a role to play in these elections,” Cantor began. “Obviously, I have said that I disagree with his statement that we can't take back the House. So, do I want voters to think that Republicans do nothing but go to beach resorts in January? No.”
The Republican National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Steele and congressional Republicans have been bickering this month, despite repeated good news for their party. Several Democrats in the House and Senate have announced their retirements, and on Tuesday the GOP won the Senate seat in Massachusetts previously held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D).
Republicans in Congress were reportedly upset to learn from the media that Steele was writing a book about how to defeat President Barack Obama’s agenda. Steele also has come under criticism from some Republicans for accepting payments as a speaker since becoming the party’s chairman.
A handful of rank-and-file House Republicans, unaware that the RNC intended to meet in the Rainbow State at the end of the month, were "amazed" at the prospect.
Speaking at the same event as Cantor on Thursday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) noted that House Republicans will be holding their retreat next week in Baltimore.
He added that he hoped Steele and the other RNC attendees in Hawaii would canvass for the GOP candidate running in a special election to fill the seat of Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D).
Abercrombie announced that he would give up his seat at the end of February in order to focus on his gubernatorial bid.