Historically party chairman don’t pick sides in nomination battles, but it sure seems like Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is planting Huckabee-style seeds of doubt about a Romney Redux in 2012.

In case you missed it, here’s what Steele said over the weekend on Bill Bennett’s radio show:

Yeah, but let me ask you. Ok, Jay, I’m there with you. But remember, it was the base that rejected Mitt because of his switch on pro-life, from pro-choice to pro-life. It was the base that rejected Mitt because it had issues with Mormonism. It was the base that rejected Mitch, Mitt, because they thought he was back and forth and waffling on those very economic issues you’re talking about. So, I mean, I hear what you’re saying, but before we even got to a primary vote, the base had made very clear they had issues with Mitt because if they didn’t, he would have defeated John McCain in those primaries in which he lost.

And here’s what Philip Klein of the American Spectator had to say yesterday:

Now, I was critical of Romney during the campaign, agree that he was ultimately rejected by the base, and don’t think he would have stood a chance against Obama. But Jay Cost is absolutely correct when he writes that, “none of these comments should be coming from the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.” In my view, it’s particularly inappropriate for Steele to bring up Romney’s Mormonism.

I won’t add to that because he wrote precisely what I was thinking. (Almost verbatim, spooky!)

Finally, here’s a CNN report on the Team Romney response. (Clue, they ain’t happy.)

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