STEELE TAKES GOP TALKING POINTS OFF THE TABLE…. One of the more common concerns voiced by conservatives, especially at the recent “Tea Parties,” relates to bailouts. Republicans on the Hill have tried to pick up on this, and distance the party from the practice.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele decided to step on his party’s message quite a bit this morning.

Michael Steele says the GOP would be “disingenuous” if it blamed Democrats for poor economic performance, since Republicans started the bailout process in the first place.

“Look, we can’t go back out and start pointing fingers at Democrats and saying, ‘Look how bad they’re performing, look at what they’re doing with the economy,’ when we jumpstarted this thing,” Steele said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “We were the ones that put the $700 billion on the table and said, ‘All right, let’s start nationalizing the banking system.’”

Added Steele, “So now, for us to stand back and go, ‘Oh, that’s a bad thing to do’ is disingenuous.”

I suppose this is intended to be candor. To hear Steele tell it, Republicans are owning up to the moments where its actions were inconsistent with its principles. Perhaps there’s some value in that.

But the Republican goal of late is to connect the majority to the unpopular bailouts, and blame Democrats for poor management of the economy. The RNC chairman just went on national television to say those criticisms against Democrats just aren’t fair and aren’t even accurate.

Maybe Steele is a DNC plant?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.