August 31st, 2009
03:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele: No guilt trip after Kennedy death

Steele said Americans shouldn't be 'guilted' into passing health care reform.
Steele said Americans shouldn't be 'guilted' into passing health care reform.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said Monday that Americans shouldn't be "guilted" into passing health care reform because of the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Steele was asked in an interview on ABCNews.com what he thought of liberals using Kennedy's memory as a rallying cry to pass health care reform.

"I can see it and I understand why the Democrats and particularly the left are doing it," Steele said. "He was a champion of this issue for a long, long time."

But Steele said he is "not of the mind to reform health care for the sake of anyone's memory."

"While I admire the legacy of Sen. Ted Kennedy, I disagree with his view of health care for this country," he said. "That's part of the debate."

He added: "But I don't want to see this country guilted into health care reform because of the passing, the unfortunate passing, of a great senator."


Filed under: Michael Steele • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. LADYMARY

    I couldn't agree more with Mr. Steele's statements. This issue is far too important for guilt or sentimentality to decide. While I agree health reform must be made (and soon), I definately DO NOT want a policy implemented because someone feels they OWE it to a particular person. It should be decided on MERIT ALONE.

    August 31, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. James P

    That is really insulting of Michael Steele to suggest that anyone is "guilt tripping" anyone about Senator Kennedy's death. Maybe the political right doesn't understand that there are people who genuinely need health care reform, and those proponents would have wanted to pass this bill whether Senator Kennedy was alive or not. To suggest that the republicans are being "guilted" into anything is incredibly insulting to Senator Kennedy's memory. Don't use "they're guilting us" as a reason to not work with democrats on health care. I can't believe how childish our politicians are.

    August 31, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Expat American

    Barely a day has passed since the memorial service for Senator Kennedy, and there is no doubt….the GOP chose a winner in Steele. He is pure class.

    August 31, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    Don't worry, Mr. Steele. You won't have to "see this country guilted into health care reform because of the passing, the unfortunate passing, of a great senator."

    There are plenty of excellent reasons to get medical costs down, to get the greed and wastefulness of insurance companies under control, and for the majority of the American people to want the realization of the proposed public option.

    Besides, wouldn't it be a shame to see Americans tricked into not wanting to get real and necesssary health care reform passed by half-baked manipulators like you, Mr. Steele?

    Thanks anyway for your lame efforts to shift the debate.

    August 31, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Leonard

    No guilt trip is needed from you Mr. Steele. What is need is for your party to tell the truth and stop scaring the hell out of the citizens of the United states of America with lies.

    August 31, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. unshrub

    Can anyone be any dumber! Maybe it's his job to sound so stupid so when other republicans talk they don't sound quite as dumb.

    August 31, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Gaston

    Another heartless conservative con man trying to sell us the same old "free market" ideology that only benefit the big HMOs, pharmaceutical companies at the the expanse of millions of hard working families.

    August 31, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Kyle, CO

    It's not about a guilt trip. It's about doing what's right, and the right thing to do is to pass the health care bill. Senator Kennedy worked his entire life to see this bill passed and I hope the Dems will grow a spine and pass the bill. If they don't they are toast because most

    Americans are NOT happy with their insurance companies, but they have no alternative. I think a Government Plan will keep the insurance companies honest.

    I hope the Senator will rest in peace because with airheads like Michael Steele, we sure won't.

    August 31, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. beth

    No, but we should feel guilty if health care isn't available and affordable to all citizens. Shut up Steele. You are a self-righteous pig.

    August 31, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Kevin B

    Call it what ever you want Mr Steele, but by all means congress need to ensure Senator Kennedy gets credit for his life long work on health reform

    It is time to put people first and pass health care care bill that will cover all americans and get the insurance industries hands out of all of our pockets.

    Publically traded health insurance companies are who is really standing between us and our doctors and they are the ones really convening death panels on daily basis.

    August 31, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Joseph, Los Angeles California

    This guy disagrees with anything done in the country that will help Americans. Trying to use the death of Ted Kennedy against those who "always" supported health reform is taking it to another lower level than the lower levels he is accustomed to. We who support health care reform never-ever said we would use Kennedy's death to put guilt trip on people...

    August 31, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. R.B.

    Nobody is being "guilted" into anything. This is the latest GOP "red herring." In a series of much smoke and many mirrors. The same tired rhetoric of "NO." The people overwhelmingly want health care reform. If the people would have wanted a Bush third term with "status quo" priorities and where that ultimately led us, Mr. Obama would not have been overwhelmingly elected on a platform of "change."

    America deserves better.

    August 31, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Irma in North Carolina

    Steele when you throw out the republican Minister in Arizona who is baptist minister preaching the words from his pulpit that are so shameful, and praying from the puplit that the president dies, just go read them on fox news? This man who is supposed to be a man of god, why is he still walking around on this earth is beyond me. This must look good for Mccain this is his home state.

    August 31, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Kevin B

    Publically traded health insurance companies are who is really standing between us and our doctors and they are the ones really convening death panels on daily basis.

    Please by all means call it the Kennedy health reform act, despite what lies and deceit these GOP insurance lackeys spew.

    August 31, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. laurence

    Ah.... never mind.

    August 31, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, Va

    Michael Steele and the rest of his GOP thugs don't care about coverage for all Americans. They won't be satisfied until everyone goes bankrupt due to expensive healthcare insurance. If reform isn't done now, you can kiss our great country goodbye.

    August 31, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. laurence

    Is 'Steele a historical factual name, or does it represent that ball inside his head where a brain should be.

    August 31, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Its like that game at the carnival or in arcade – you know the one where the head pops up and you hit it with a hammer. That is what this weekend has been so far – first Cheney and now Steele – whose next? No matter how hard you hit them they still won't stay keep mouthing off.

    August 31, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Gus The Willie

    So what is Steele's take on health care reform? All I see is him being an obstructionist, and echoing what The Big Rush is regurgitating. This makes many of us wondering, why are there so many gullible people following The Big Rush, and to boot be able to stomach what he he has been regurgitating. It must be so palliable for for so many to follow Steele and The Big Rush to the "kingdom come". I think many of us like to see just have the GOP is offering other than saying it won't work. We do need something by way of health care reform to make the insurance companies be more honest and forthright. With the GOP saying NO, this country will be doomed much like the Great Roman Empire. When this happens, I like to see Steele play the harp as this country fall into decay.

    August 31, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging

    Is this guy relevant...I mean, seriously?!!!

    August 31, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Big-K (DC)

    Steele is a token for the repug party and a total jerk without any back born, if by chance although I doubt it, the republican was to regain control of the house and senate, Steele would no longer be of any use to them. Too bad Steele wears blinders and can't see that he have no clout or real usefullness to the repub party.

    August 31, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Mike Moderate

    Me...too...I don't want to EVER feel guilty that I NEVER vote for a GOP person EVER again.

    The party of NO does it again. Steele...what a wacko!!

    Steele...you were no match for Kennedy one on one even today and he is dead!

    August 31, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Regressive Party Refugee (former republican)

    No, they should just be lied to and scared into not voting for it.
    Republicans – never ones to let facts get in the way of the message.

    August 31, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Orlando

    I havce never see a stupid and ignorant Goat Like Steel in my life. He need to go in the dark and stay there for the rest of his life.

    August 31, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Tracy

    Its like that game you find at a carnival or in an arcade – the one where the head pops up and you hit it with a hammer. First Cheney and now Steels – whose next? No matter how hard you hit them, they just won't stay down and give us a much needed break from all of their hot air. Jeez......

    August 31, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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