Newt’s spokesman denies it but it does jibe with reports that Gingrich has dropped out of the running for chairman himself and that he’s leaning towards Steele. Look at it this way: If Steele’s lying, the only one who’ll be humiliated when Newt does endorse is him.

Eleven minutes of audio here, with the Gingrich stuff up front. The most interesting part comes in the middle, when NPR asks about the Log Cabin Republicans. Steele’s cautious with his rhetoric but unmistakably a proponent of the “big tent” approach in what he says about single-issue voters having to accept that the party is “multifaceted and complex.” Exit question: Is his description of himself as a Lincoln Republican invested in individual rights a signal that he’s prepared to back gay marriage?