GOP Leaders Try to Muzzle Michael Steele, Keep Him ‘On a Short Leash’

October 5, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A new Politico piece reveals the details of a meeting held last month between RNC Chairman Michael Steele and top GOP leaders that escalated into a heated exchange, when Congressional Republicans told Steele to stop encroaching on the lawmakers’ turf by veering into a policy making role.

Steele was supposedly read the riot act by Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and was told to stick to standard RNC functions, such as fundraising to support Republicans in the upcoming governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia.

Michael Steele never turns down a request for an interview or media appearance and he is known for spouting off, well mostly nonsense. During the heated health care reform debate in August, Steele created a seniors’ “health care bill of rights,” which was particularly ironic considering many Republicans oppose the concept of Medicare and have attempted to privatize the life-saving government health program.

At the meeting, in addition to Steele and Alexander were: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Senate GOP policy Chairman John Thune of South Dakota.

Steele was said to have grown defensive, casting himself as a local Washington, DC fighter from the “streets,” who was eager to defend the Republican Party from attack.

Alexander told Politico that the group “had a good discussion” with Steele, reiterating the point that lawmakers are elected to form policy and not the head of the RNC.

“He’s trying to focus what he says on the threat that these health care bills have to seniors. And we wanted to make sure that the policy that he was talking about — that the policy was developed by the Congress,” said Alexander.

Sen. Thune said the big takeaway from the meeting, was one of unity and working together. “[W]e need to coordinate as much as possible,” said Thune.

However, he declined to get into the details of the contentious nature of the discussion with Steele and the issue is one that doesn’t seem to be fully resolved, due partly to the fact that the Republican Party is floundering without a clear policy and a clear leader to articulate it.

The minority party has largely decided to become a party of opposition to Democratic programs, with no clear policy alternatives of its own to present to the public. Steele in his defense told the Congressional leaders that he veered into the policy arena, only when asked to respond to questions about the GOP’s stance on a variety of issues while traveling the country.

Steele’s incoherent responses however, are a big part of the problem and responsible for the ongoing tension between Steele and Republican lawmakers.

An unnamed, top GOP House leadership aide told Politico that lawmakers are watching Steele’s antics carefully. “He’s on a short leash here,” said the aide.


6 Responses to “GOP Leaders Try to Muzzle Michael Steele, Keep Him ‘On a Short Leash’”

  1. K on October 5th, 2009 1:58 pm

    “GOP Leaders Try to Muzzle Michael Steele….” hmmmm…
    is the RNC Chairman Michael Steele ALREADY a puppet?

  2. Posts about Politico as of October 5, 2009 » The Daily Parr on October 5th, 2009 2:49 pm

    […] other priorities in House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office. But the session devolved […] GOP Leaders Try to Muzzle Michael Steele, Keep Him ‘On a Short Leash’ – 10/05/2009 (ChattahBox)—A new Politico piece reveals the details of a […]

  3. Lea baker on October 13th, 2009 10:54 pm

    Michael Steele are you a racist or a uncle tom

  4. Don’t Have a Cow, Michael Steele! ‘Moo Moo’ Said Steele | ChattahBox News Blog on October 16th, 2009 4:28 pm

    […] National Committee Chairman Michael Steele? I don’t think so. Steele’s frequent foibles and missteps have served up a treasure trove of mockable moments for Democrats and late-night […]

  5. RNC Chairman Steele: Dem Health Bill to ‘Flip The Bird To The American People’ | ChattahBox News Blog on December 21st, 2009 6:47 pm

    […] the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, is known for his over-the-top statements, his frequent foibles and his desire to be a middle-aged, groovy hip-hop politician. The recent launch of the RNC’s […]

  6. Hip-Hop Chariman Steele Chasing the Benjamins | ChattahBox News Blog on December 22nd, 2009 9:06 pm

    […] Chairman Michael Steele, is perhaps the most ridiculous politician in modern history. With his constant foibles and verbal gaffes, Steele is usually attracting attention for all the wrong reasons. This week we […]

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.