Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele proudly defended the GOP's new Web page that depicts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amidst flames, in two media appearances Tuesday morning.


CBS "Early Show" anchor Maggie Rodriguez said she was "surprised" by what she saw when visiting the site, which the main RNC.org page automatically redirects to.

"The homepage shows a big photograph of Nancy Pelosi, and in huge block letters it says 'Fire Pelosi' and she is against a backdrop of flames," she said. "Isn't this a little bit extreme?"

"No, no, actually I tamed it down," responded Steele. "Nancy Pelosi is the architect of the demise, in my view, of one-sixth of our economy. She should be fired for her failure to serve the interests of the American people."

The Web site asks for donations to the RNC, aiming to raise $1 million in the first 40 hours after the House narrowly passed health care legislation. Its goal is to win "40 Seats" in November's midterms and oust Pelosi as speaker.

Steele, whose favorable ratings among his own party colleagues are notably low, claimed President Obama and the Democratic-led Congress have "thumbed their nose at the American people over the last year."

On NBC's "Today Show," the de-facto GOP leader explained why Pelosi is the prime target of his campaign, throwing in another reference to "fire."

"The president took his key legislative agenda item and gave it to Nancy Pelosi to run," Steele told guest host Lester Holt. "She's the one who pulled this out of the fire for the president after the Scott Brown election, not the White House. So Nancy Pelosi owns this."

Steele's comments came on the same day President Obama intends to sign the legislation into law.

This video is from CBS's "Early Show" & NBC's "Today Show," broadcast March 23, 2010.

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