WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele defended the GOP's decision to automatically re-direct angry liberal callers to the Democratic National Committee Wednesday, telling reporters he "thought it was a good idea."
"Don't think you're going to direct a bunch of angry liberals to call the RNC when I know full well what that's all about," Steele said during an RNC conference call. "I get....the joke." He said he thought those critics should talk to their own party, who held responsible for "ginning this up."
Earlier in the day, a new DNC Web ad accused the Republican Party of "inciting mobs" to deliberately disrupt congressional town hall meetings where the Obama health care plan was being discussed, and asked viewers to call the RNC to register their disapproval. The RNC changed their phone menu so that those callers were directed to press a button that automatically transferred their call to the DNC.
Steele dismissed questions over whether the GOP move to deflect critical calls was hypocritical in light of recent criticism of Democrats for "demonizing" the town hall protestors, and denied the Republican Party had any role in organizing the confrontations.
"We're not inciting anyone to go out and disrupt anything," said Steele. "We're not organizing the town halls," only encouraging individuals to visit their congressman or senator to "express their point of view."
"There's no upside for the Republican Party [in the protests]," he said later in the call. "That's not something that's coordinated or deliberately set in motion by me or anyone in the state party.
"...To sit back and say this is a Republican cabal is a bunch of baloney. And you can substitute that 'b' for something else if you want."
Later, a frustrated Steele shot down another question about the GOP's view of the recent chaos at congressional town halls. "I'll speak slowly. There's legitimacy to the protest. But how people protest…. I have no control over."
He added that there was nothing unusual about the development, and that he did not understand why the face-offs were drawing media attention. "Why is it so out of the ordinary that the American people should stand up and say, 'I have a concern about something the government is going to do?'
"… I'm not telling people to go out and be disruptive, because there's no upside to doing that. We want to have a legitimate debate…there's no upside for us in starting a fight with the Democratic Party, or with elected officials that we disagree with."
The GOP is only going to make people more mad by these actions.
I wonder if the GOP is ever going to figure it out: the more they avoid responsibility and fail to offer real solutions, the more they will lose.
Steele is a liar like all Republicans. With the murder weapon in his hand he decries these foul, vie, dispecable, disruptive, inglorious, benighted, and revolting but wholly Republican tacts. Steele and his jack boot members are a foul stench in the nostrils of the nation.
We need health care reform. If it failed, no one afford to get health insurance from the private carrier. I think this is another dirty polictic from the Republican
yes pass the buck on like the GOP do so well.
Why does Steele's comments always ring so hollow? Could it be because they always are just criticisms without any solutions, always self-justifying and aimed at returning to 'more of the same', what got us where we are?
Let the Civil War begin....it's time to declare open season on Republicans! The only good Republican is a dead one!
Typical Republican tactics:
1. DENY, DENY, DENY
2. SMEAR, SMEAR, SMEAR
Hey RNC and Michael Steele – when you have something constructive to say, come back and see us American people. In the meantime:
Don't go away mad – just go away.
Steele, there's never legitimacy to denying others the freedom of speech. America is a Democracy.......mister. These "rallies/protest" are the same "rallying" cries of Hatred and Anger that the Entire World saw on the Campaign trail. These people are Not legitimate....... but "cranks" that are being Used by the Republicans, of which you are head in name, to keep things as they are...... their pockets being "greased" by the Healthcare Lobbyist. No more, no less!
People are angry and Mr. Obama and the Dem's are not listening – it is like any other society – those that are not being heard yell louder. The Dem's need to listen to the whole country, not just their groupies.
I used to be a Repub but when I this kind of tactic used, thats it with me with the Repubs. If we can't win then nobody wins and I'm taking everything down with me. That's a pretty sleazy attitude not to mention self serving. I'm going independent next time. Go Ron Paul/Palin(2012)
Steele is a liar and he knows it.
The thing is – nothing Steele says is important. He's a non-entity in his own party, a front for the Republicans' real leaders – Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh.
Nothing to see here, move along.
The next Republican president will be singing the public option's praises. It's the truth.
Michael Steele is the GOP's token minority. Nothing he says or does is of any REAL consequence because no one is taking him seriously. He's the black version of Ellie Mae Palin. Representative of the nutwing side of the GOP. He should sit beside clarence thomas in the race for respect. Neither of them have an ounce of respect from their own race let alone from the white race. Steele will eventually be replaced anyways.
You can bet your bottom dollar Steele had his hands all over this one....
This guy lies like a rug.
Evidently only liberals are allowed to protest. Lord knows we saw enough luny liberal protests for the last 8 years. Take a hike.
the party of deceit and deceitful tactics. buyer beware the GOP has moral problems they are unable to address.
Dance Steele dance! You listen to Rush and Karl. What a fool!
You kids need to grow up and stop acting like fools. Obama is President ok. You just have to live with it or leave the country. Many of you said that if he won that you would leave so why are you still here? Chuck Norris has been hit in the head TOO many times he is off his rocker.
He always denies everything, even if he's directly responsible. Sick of the Republican whining.
Yeah, just like they weren't inciting anyone during the election.
Conservatives for Patient Rights has already accepted credit for indeed "ginning up" the neo-con base and getting them to the town hall meetings.
For the Party of NO, you wanted time to understand the health care bill at least hold up a sign in protest, but save you mob rule mentality for the Klan meetings. Listen and ask a question, IF selected, but keep the juvenile shouting down so the people that actually are there to be informed will not have wasted their time.
For the Dems, cancel all these town meetings, remember, the redneck knuckle draggers carry guns and believe "god is on their side".
Ah , the magic of smoke and mirrors, yada yada yada!!!
The GOP is getting so good at deception, they make tricky dick look tame!
I spoke with a person who just attended a town hall meeting on free choice and health care reform. Republican representatives were invited and guaranteed they could have the floor to explain their views but none of them attended. There were, however, a group of people who drove over 100 miles to attend and did everything they could to disrupt the meeting. They were confronted by the crowd and left before the meeting concluded.