July 9th, 2009
12:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele: Sanford, Ensign affairs 'old news, old school'

Michael Steele called the recent extramarital affairs of Mark Sanford and John Ensign 'old news, old school.'
Michael Steele called the recent extramarital affairs of Mark Sanford and John Ensign 'old news, old school.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele dismissed recent extramarital affairs by two prominent members of his party as "old news, old school" at a GOP dinner in Indianapolis on Wednesday night.

Steele was referring to headline grabbing stories like admissions of infidelity by South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Nevada Sen. John Ensign, and suggested he has moved on.

"That's not the generation of candidates I'm trying to groom," Steele said, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Steele said the Republican Party should get back to its small-government roots and listed Republican governors like Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitch Daniels of Indiana of Indiana as "laboratories for the ideas we believe in."

Steele also told a local radio station in Indiana on Wednesday that he wasn't surprised by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's sudden decision to resign her post and said she felt like she was "just a lightning rod for a lot of crazy noise right now." He said this shouldn't affect her potential political ambitions down the road, should she decide to run for president in 2012 - though he said "people overestimate her desire to be at the table."

"I think that's gonna be something for Sarah to decide, not for the pundits and political insiders who think they know more about Sarah Palin and her life than she does," Steele told WIBC.


Filed under: John Ensign • Mark Sanford • Michael Steele
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Len in Washington

    "Old School?" I think not.
    "Yesterdays news?" I think not.
    GOP out of touch? "You betcha!"

    July 9, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. You had your window Repubs, and you blew it!

    Keep up the good work Steele. I'm just not sure how he has time to comment about this since they have come up with so many alternative ideas in the past year.

    Let's review all the alternative ideas that Repubs have offered us with solid numbers behind them. Ok, ready? Go!

    chirp chirp! chirp chirp!

    July 9, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. RNC=Rush, Newt, Cheney

    I thought my title was clever! anyway, old news yes, will people remember this, yes..is this something the RNC is trying to cover and end so it does not hurt them hopeing people forget, YES!!!

    July 9, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    DT said..... "The only way they can come back is if the Democrats mess up"
    ______________________

    Given the democratic party's penchant for messing up, I'd say 2010 is looking good for the republicans.

    July 9, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Angie

    why oh why do they keep letting this clown speak. he is a joke just like the rest of the repug party.----- Steele said the Republican Party should get back to its small-government roots and listed Republican governors like Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitch Daniels of Indiana of Indiana as "laboratories for the ideas we believe in." Yeah right. I don't think they know what they believe in. Like sarah (pitbull quitter palin) they have become the butt of all jokes. LOL!!!!

    July 9, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. cmd

    What an idiot..........

    July 9, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. ike

    It is disappointing to hear from GOP boss that Cheating on your spouse is old news or old school. Steal you speak like one who never had family value. If you do not have value for your family tell me how you will have value for the nation- the bigger family. GOP does not see anything good in our able president Obama because they have noting good in themselves.

    July 9, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    Mr. Steele just doesn't get it! How can this be OLD NEWS when even fellow Republicans are still calling for the man to resign???

    July 9, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. J

    But I thought the Republicans are the Moral Authority??? Did he just change their whole platform?
    I wonder if they will lose the lunatic base?

    July 9, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Chris from NY

    It's an old school because it's not a Democrat that's involved. For someone that preaches family values it's not an old school. What other platform are you guys going to run on?

    July 9, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Republicans are the American Taliban

    You can just hear the crickets when he speaks. To him the Republicans destruction of our country is " old news "

    "That's not the generation of candidates I'm trying to groom," Steele said, according to the Indianapolis Star.

    He wants to "groom" younger Republicans...like Bristol Palin...

    July 9, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Shawnee Britsbart

    I hope gov Palin will get into the RNC with her fresh, down-to-earth conservative ideas, too.

    July 9, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Moonbeam

    Mr. Steele is saying that only men of previous generation could be unfaithful to their spouses. Hmmm... How does he define "old"? What would be cut off age, in his opinion?
    He seems to believe that men of Jindal's generation do not fool around!
    Do they let Chairman Steele outside sometimes or is he simply total moron?!

    July 9, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. Cindy

    What the Republicans need is someone that can think with his head and not his penis!

    July 9, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Chenna Benna

    Steele says this as the beeds of sweat drip down his forehead. The RNC is full of hypocrites and no ideas.

    July 9, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. TRUTH

    Michael Steele cant even control his party...I thought he was the chairman of the RNC. Worst chairman ever.

    July 9, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Kyle

    What a mess the Republican Party has become.

    July 9, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Hot Chick

    When you say Laboratories....I think of RATS

    July 9, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Lisa P

    "That's not the generation of candidates I'm trying to groom..."

    What an unfortunate choice of words. Poor Michael Steele! Sometimes one just has to blush.

    July 9, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Rob H

    I do not assiciate with any particular party. I tend to be conservative on social issues which is why I have a huge problem with Mr. Steele's assessment of two prominant republican's extramarital affairs. It is completely hypocritical of any republican not to totally abandon and go after these men for their situations. It seems that it is ok for Republicans to engage in behavior like this when it is a Republican but we can not, must not forget the Republican uproar over the Clinton/Lewinski affair. Republicans in power are righteous when it benefits them politically but not when it may hurt their own party and it makes me sick.

    July 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Chris in MI

    Too bad Steele doesn't believe even a smidge of morals is important in politicians. These guys aren't just potential candidates, they are a SITTING governor and senator. Steele can even state that he's 'disappointed' in them. Yep, just depend on that old fart Barbour and 'dear in the headlights' Jindal. That'll bring back the old party. What a bunch of hypocrites!

    July 9, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. makesUwonder

    The liberal Democrats only know how to ignore bad politicians, cheating politicians, corrupt politicians, and ones that lie if it's one of their own.

    July 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Steele-

    Please, please shut UP!

    You are a TOKEN – period

    An embarrasment in comparison to Obama, and a joke of a politician.

    Just beat it.

    July 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. geo

    Sanford, just resign ..period...

    July 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Larry

    It won't be so "old news, old school" at election time.

    When are you Republicans going to get the message.... You're dinosaurs. Your party is a thing of the past.

    July 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6