Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele ripped two anonymous Romney advisers for telling Bloomberg News that Team Romney had asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to downplay improvements in the state's economy.
"Anyone who can't, you know, man up, if you will, and put their names to quotes like that—I'm a little suspicious," Steele, an MSNBC contributor, said on Thursday's Hardball.
In the Bloomberg story, the sources said the Romney campaign didn't want Scott to tout the Sunshine State's improvements, because because doing so would undermine Romney's message that the nation's economy is crumbling under President Obama.
Both Romney and Scott have denied that such conversations took place.
Bloomberg News also reported that Republican governors in Ohio, Michigan, Virginia and Wisconsin "have highlighted improving economies" as well.
Steele argued that it was Scott, not Obama, who helped boost Florida's economy. "He had the opportunity to turn the state around and he clearly has done that," said Steele.
But Lanny J. Davis—the former Clinton White House Special Counsel who recently launched a bipartisan public affairs firm with Steele—argued that GOP commercials talking up Florida's economy inadvertently benefit the president.
Speaking about the economy, Davis said, "It matters how people feel, and right now there is a movement. And it does appear to be real, that people in the polls are saying they feel better now than they did last year and the year before."