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. David Newport, OR

    of course he disagrees with any one with any kind of intelligence. That is the GOP mantra. Don't listen to the "experts", we are "the experts" you need to listen to. Experts in deception.

    August 31, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Doug, New Jersey

    Kennedy was a liberal for sure, but please dont confuse him for what is today's Democrat party. He was the last one who didn't wish harm and death to every American who doesn't hold the same ideology.

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

    But apparently, they should be fear mongered into fighting against something that would be for their own good. Steele, shut your mouth. We can't stand any more of your hypocritical crap.

    August 31, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Cleaning up after W

    I see Steele went running to ABC after he made a fool of himself trying to answer an actual question from NPR's Steve Inskeep last week. When held up to the light of logic, the GOP's arguments can be seen as the paper-thin lies that they are.

    August 31, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. CR

    The GOP has become the party of obstruction, standing in the way of long-overdue reform. They need to lose some elections.

    August 31, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Joe the Comment Leaver

    Of course Congress or American's shouldn't be "guilted" into passing health-care reform. It should be passed because it's the right thing to do. But I find Steele's admission that Republicans do, in fact, have something to feel guilty about in opposing health care reform to be refreshingly honest.

    August 31, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    Mr. Steele,
    It is wrong to assume everyone for the Public Plan is a liberal. In fact, GOP mistook me for a Republican more so than DNC did during the election.

    I cannot speak for all Independents, but this fiscal conservative fully supports the Public Plan. Calculating possible scenarios convinced me that we need the Public Plan to survive. We must control health care spending. If you think your 401K looks bad now, it will sink much further without a Public Plan.

    We need a Medicare-like public plan to control wastes and cover every American. This will be a vital boost to our no longer competitive economy.

    August 31, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    I think it's great that Republican leaders and candidates for office like Steele, Cheney and McDonnell are saying so explicitly and frequently what they really think and believe.

    it's a real eye-opener for the American people, who are seeing just how shameless, reckless and hypocritical they really are.

    Let's get more Democrats in the Senate in 2010!

    August 31, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Howard

    Don't these wackos realize that everyone benefits when people are healthy??? Let's pass healthcare reform because we need to do it. We need to have more competition. If you don't want government healthcare, keep your private insurer. But we need the public option to spur the private healthcare companies to do a better job.

    August 31, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. I can see Canada from my house!

    Well, Michael, the GOP guilted and bullied this nation into electing W twice......so what's the problem?

    August 31, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. ALAN J

    Michael Steele is by far the worst fool running on two legs. These people have turned this man into their puppet and he is doing his job well. he has no shame, no morals and no conscience, but hey he'd be kicked out of the Grand Old Pootbutts if he did.

    August 31, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Carlos

    Libs never miss a chance to advance their agenda.

    August 31, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. republicans hate america

    i agree token steale otherwise we would have seen that loser former president regans ugly mug on the 10 dollar bill had the Rush Limbaugh Party had their way.

    August 31, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Why should Repbulicans feel guilty that democrats continued electing this perverted old drunk for 40 years. What were all these great things he did for Americans, I have not heard a one that has not made us pay more taxes and/or become more dysfunctional as a society. Democrats should feel guilty for foisting off this fraud as some sort of a hero. He should have spent the rest of his life in jail.

    August 31, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Now I ask you when have you or any of you cronnies ever felt guilt !!!! Look what you all have done to this Country !!! If you feel No guilt here how could you possibly feel any guilt about the uninsured, unemployed, or homeless. You arrogant, spoiled , selfish, human being. I really hope that you folks of the Republican Party take some advice from a former GOPer and clean the filth off of your hands and out of you souls. I wish I could take back 40 years of my Republican votes.

    August 31, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Nadine

    Michael Steele need to rewind his tape recorder and replay how he speaks, "the back side of his mouth"!

    August 31, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Johnny DC

    Vote for your constituents. It's that simple. Any congressman or senator that changes his or her vote based on Kennedy's memory is committing an atrocity against our legislative system.

    August 31, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. New Age Democrat

    The Democrat's rally cry of "Do it for Teddy" is sad and pathetic. This behavior only enforces the fact that Democratic leadership is out of touch with the people. They have been passing legislation for themselves for years. It's about time they started thinking of the people first.

    August 31, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. Ted

    Steele once again shows his contempt for proper vocabulary by making up a word 'guilted' instead of using proper grammar and contructing a sentence that makes sense. What a moron!

    August 31, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. DonnaLee

    The Rethuglicans should feel guilty, but not for Senator Teds' death. But because of their whinny tantrum baby "we don't want to play" approach to governance.

    August 31, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Kel

    "guilted" huh? No, what should make them "guilted" is the fact that Americans are losing their health insurance, and the fact that most members of the GOP are not willing to cooperate and get health care done the right way. They complain about the plan, so why don't they try and come up with some sort of comprimise? No, they've shown their willing to put politics above getting people healthcare. We spend about twice as much and more than everyone else. And it doesn't necessarily mean results. We have the highest infant mortality rate among industrialized nations. Obviously some changes have to occur. All of the sudden, they love Medicaid and Medicare, when before it was just evil, socialized medicine.

    August 31, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Steele should just do his job of running the RNC. Why is he constantly looking to be on the front page of all news bulletins. He is not an elected official.

    August 31, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Who needs his eulogy.

    August 31, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Right, but they should be SHAMED into it for having glibly spread so many lies and refused to come up with reasonable, responsible discussion and debate or a solution of their own, instead relying on their knee-jerk misinformation-based demagoguery to try to obstruct health care reform for perceived political gains and nothing more.

    August 31, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. rich

    Is Steele the republicans next "great white hope" or maybe they hired him because of affirmative action. Republicans are a joke. They would rather see people going bankrupt everyday because of health care then fix the problem. The scare tactics and lies being used today are the same lies that were used when Medicare was being proposed. I bet people on Medicare would not give up their Medicare. Health care is a right everyone should have. People should not have to worry about losing their homes because they got sick.

    August 31, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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