Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele had a stern message for critics Delaware GOP Senate nominee in her own party: "stop it."

The outspoken Steele urged Republicans to unite behind the Tea Party-backed O'Donnell, who pulled a stunning upset over centrist Rep. Mike Castle in the state's Senate primary Tuesday night.


Asked by CNN if he thinks she can win the general election, Steele replied "I don't know if she can win until we try. How can you claim defeat before you attempt victory? This makes no sense. It makes no sense. So stop it. Stop it."
High profile Republicans, such as former Bush senior adviser Karl Rove, have cast doubt over O'Donnell's ability to defeat Democrat Chris Coons in the general election, questioning how well her conservative viewpoints will play in blue Delaware.

Washington Republicans initially had a muted reaction to her victory, but spent Wednesday trying to downplay any rift within the party by pledging monetary and moral support to their nominee.

Steele's remarks, however, are a stark reminder of the initial response of some in the party to O'Donnell's win.

"That's my message. Stop it. Let's get behind our nominees and win the election," Steele said. "Then we can have a meeting and sit down and talk about all that stuff."

The chairman expressed confidence that O'Donnell would beat Coons.

"Let me tell you, victory is going to be a sweet thing and I don't think you want to have that meeting where you're going to start parsing out who's up, who's down, who wins, who loses," he said.