The race to be the next chair of the Republican National Committee heated up Monday after the five candidates gathered for spirited debate at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The committee's 168 members plan to vote Jan. 14 on who will lead the party for the next two years and whether the current chairman, Michael Steele, deserves a "second chance." Challenging Steele are Reince Priebus, Wisconsin GOP chair, Michigan GOP chair Saul Anuzis, former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner and Bush administration veteran
Each of the candidates fielded questions on policy and politics, but it was Wagner who provided a light moment of laughter.
"Favorite bar? Probably my kitchen table," the former ambassador said after mishearing a "favorite book" question from moderator Tucker Carlson. When she realized her error, Wagner said her favorite read is "Decision Points," the recently released memoir from former President George W. Bush:
Other candidates got the same question. Steele joked that his favorite book was Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace," a work he says is similar to his tenure as RNC chairman, claiming "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" -- a line actually lifted from Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities."
Cino's favorite is the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Priebus named "The Reagan Diaries" as his top choice.
Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist also pointedly asked the candidates how many firearms each of them owned. Wagner said she owns 16 guns. Cino and Steele said they have none, Anuzis has four, and Priebus said he has five.