GOP to Steele’s Staff: PLEASE ‘Get Him to Stop’
January 8, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-RNC Chairman Michael Steele known for his frequent foibles and embarrassing gaffes during his constant media appearances, is finally driving GOP lawmakers stark raving mad with exasperation. During Steele’s recent book promotion tour, he has made a number of comical statements, that are controversial even by Steele’s low standards. And Republican congressional aides on Wednesday, literally begged Steele’s staff to please “get him to stop.” Meanwhile, Democrats are delighted, calling Steele “the gift that keeps on giving.”
Steele angered and embarrassed Republican leaders, when he declared on Fox News Sean Hannity’s show that the GOP would not take back either the House or Senate in the 2010 elections. “Not this year,” said Steele. And then Steele told Hannity that the Republican Party wasn’t “ready” for majority leadership.
Of course, the obstructionist party of No that left our country, economy and constitution in shambles after eight-years of Republican leadership is not “ready” to lead the country at any time. But Steele’s unintentional moment of honesty threw Republican leaders into a tailspin, as they tried to make hay from the announced retirement of two Democratic senators. And with a decidedly anti-incumbent mood in the country, the GOP is hoping to make some gains in the next election cycle.
During a conference call between congressional aides and Steel’s staff, the conversation became heated at times, according to the Washington Post, as one aide suggested that Steele is well, an idiot. Steele was appearing on television “unprepared and unknowledgeable,” said one aide. Another aide condemned Steel’s “Republican apology tour at the exact wrong time.”
“You really just have to get him to stop. It’s too much,” a top congressional aide declared in exasperation. Steel’s staff told the aides that they had no control over his media appearances, because he hired an outside firm to handle his book tour.
The day after Steele’s “not ready” statements, the beleaguered RNC chairman tried to dial back his comments saying, the GOP is “playing to win” in the 2010 elections.
But as the frustration levels with Steele’s frequent gaffes reached his ears on Thursday, Steele fought back during an appearance on ABC News Radio telling his critics to “shut up.” “I tell them to get a life,” Steele said in his interview. “I’m looking them in the eye and say, ‘I’ve had enough of it. If you don’t want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.’ ”
“All I’m saying is ‘cut it out,’ ” Steele added. “If we have party differences that are inside the party, let’s deal with them inside the party. You don’t see the Democrats running around trying to beat up their national chairman or embarrass him.”
But that’s not all Steele has to contend with. The Washington Times reported that donors have stopped donating money to the RNC directly, for fear that Steele will squander it. The RNC’s coffers are extremely low, as the party prepares for the 2010 elections. Steele used a larger than expected amount of funds during the mid-term elections, which only produced two Republican governors.
And Steel’s critics are not happy with his self-promoting book tour, at a time when donations are suffering. The Washington Times also hit Steele recently with a report on his accepting thousands of dollars in speaking fees, accusing him of using his position to line his own pockets.
Steele’s days as RNC chairman seem to be numbered. But the GOP is unlikely to remove him until after the 2010 elections. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the spectacle.
See the Washington Post for more.