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Republican Chair Steele is toast, says governors' association head

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The head of the Republican Party is toast, says Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Chairman of the National Governors Association.

Is that clear?

In an interview with GQ magazine, published online, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said abortion was “an individual choice.” On Thursday, he issued a clarifying statement saying, “I am pro-life, always have been, always will be.”

Steele’s gaffe on a major issue for conservatives will be politically fatal, predicted Rendell, who in the past served as chairman of the Democratic Party. “I just don’t think the forces that control the Republican Party really want a big tent,” Rendell said at a lunch for Washington reporters sponsored by the Monitor. “Do they want a chairman who is basically pro-choice? Not on your life. They won’t permit it.”

No big tent

The two-term Democratic Governor added that, “I don’t think the people who control the party -- not Republican voters -- but the people who control the party just aren’t going to allow that ideological flexibility. So I think Michael Steele’s days are numbered, fortunately for us.” Rendell called Steele “an engaging personality.”

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