RNC Supports O'Donnell in Delaware, NRSC Changes Tune

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says the RNC will support Delaware Senatorial GOP nominee Christine O'Donnell.

"I look forward to electing chrsitine O'Donnell the next senator from Delaware," said Steele Wednesday at a press conference in Washington kicking off the RNC's "Fire Pelosi" bus tour. "We cannot waste the opportunity by tearing each other down."

O'Donnell, backed by the Tea Party Express, shocked the Republican establishment by knocking off Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) Tuesday night.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee had backed Castle in the race, with many GOP insiders calling O'Donnell "unelectable."

On Tuesday night, upon learning of O'Donnell's upset victory, the NRSC put out a tepid congratulatory statement.

Within minutes NRSC officials were telling Fox News' Carl Cameron that they would not support O'Donnell and that the Tea Party and Sarah Palin could carry the load.

RNC officials affirm that they will continue to provide funding the Delaware GOP, which in turn will help O'Donnell.

Those same officials also say the NRSC was caught off guard by O'Donnell's victory.

"That can happens when you play in primary elections," said one RNC official. "They went all in and got stung."

However, this morning the NRSC changed direction with Chairman John Cornyn, senator from Texas saying, "Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee - and I personally as the committee's chairman - strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O'Donnell in Delaware."

The NRSC will kick in the maximum $42,000 to O'Donnell's campaign. No word yet on whether they will also produce and buy TV ads for her.

Castle joins a long list of NRSC backed candidates who have lost to outsider campaigns this primary cycle, including Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Kentucky's Trey Grayson, Utah incumbent Senator Bob Bennett, Alaska incumbent senator Lisa Murkowski and Nevada GOP establishment candidate Sue Lowden.