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.