Steele Lashes Out: Critics Should ‘Get a Life,’ ‘Shut Up,’ ‘Fire Me … or Get out of the Way’

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Rick Klein report: RNC Chairman Michael Steele is lashing out his critics, with a series of blunt messages for prominent Republicans who have blasted him over his leadership for the Republican Party.

“I tell them to get a life. That’s old Washington, that’s old ways, and I don’t represent that, and that kills them,” Steele told ABC News Radio in an interview today.

“I’m telling them and I’m looking them in the eye and say I’ve had enough of it. If you don’t want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.”

Steele was responding to a series of reports -- most recently in today’s Washington Times -- where prominent GOP operatives and fund-raisers have criticized Steele for seeming to focus more on his own image (and pocketbook) rather than the good of the party.

Responded Steele: “Some of my prior chairmen who are running their mouths right now -- how many farm teams did you build as chairman?”

“All I’m saying is cut it out. If we have party differences that are inside the party, let’s deal with them inside the party. You don’t see the Democrats running around trying to beat up their national chairman or embarrass him.”

In his first year as GOP chairman Steele said he would give himself a grade of a “solid B.” He credits himself with raising $80 million, paying off senatorial and congressional committee debt, infusing state parties with money, creating a new Web presence, and winning governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia.

“A B is not bad; I can do better,” he said.

Steele is promoting a new book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda.” He will be a guest on ABC’s “Top Line” Friday, live at noon ET on and ABC NewsNOW.

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