August 31st, 2009
03:03 PM ET
9 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 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. 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 |
  2. Michele Westminster, CO

    Steele is an idiot and has no clue what is good for this country!!

    August 31, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't advocate a guilt trip either. I advocate for health care reform because it is the moral and proper thing to do. It seems that the GOP doesn't like competition. They believe that people would flock to a government plan really? I don't think that would happen.

    August 31, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Meet the next President!

    Mr. Steele, you need to run in 2012! You would lead to an easy victory! Think about it!

    August 31, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Joe The Plumber

    A little GOP guilt about something might help their image!

    August 31, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Miles

    You should be guilted into healthcare reform because it's NEEDED, and because you have a CONSCIENCE, not because of Ted Kennedy. You do nothing productive. Hope you enjoy losing elections.

    August 31, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. William in San Jose

    Wow, stay classy there Mr. Steele. Sheesh!

    August 31, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Bill

    Michael Steele is a nimrod leading a party of nincompoops!

    August 31, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. rich

    I agree Moderate Democrat. I am voting against any politician who does not work for meaningful health care reform and that means a public option.

    August 31, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. tcaudilllg

    And what do you have to say to the psychologists? What of America's psychological needs that go unmet for lack of insurance?

    August 31, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. mjm

    Amen to that!

    The more we hear about the proposed health care bill, the more we say no thanks.

    Reform should never cost 1.6 trillion.

    August 31, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Louise in NC

    What bad taste from Mr. Steele to even bring this up.

    August 31, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. daisy

    Mr. Steele, did you clear your comments with Mr. Limbaugh first?

    August 31, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    Well put, but I say you missed the main point. The health care plans which include a public option are just wrong for America right now...with the economy on critical care, with debt already out of control and with costs that need addressing. The public option health care plans do not address costs...they actually increase the cost of health care in America and put them on the taxpayers.

    It's like saying, "Instead of getting a high mpg car, we'll just get a big SUV, pile everyone in, make shorter trips and put the gas on a credit card!". That's what a public option does for health care costs.

    August 31, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Travis In Colorado

    I agree with Mr. Steele on this, and this is exactly what I was worried about happening. Thank you Mr. Steele for being the thinking man's man on this. We need your leadership during these times.

    August 31, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Libertarian

    Noooo....we'd rather be guilted into leaving the Status Quo because the "poor health insurance" companies are just practicing old fashion capitalism...isn't that right Mr. Steele? Make us all feel guilty about raising taxes on the rich by calling it Socialism. guys only care about what lines your pockets.

    August 31, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Voted4HealthCare

    Guilted? What a joke! Steele assumes his Party of NO intent somehow discovered a conscience to pass health care for people in need.

    After the GOP lies and fear-mongering for their corporate interests, there seems to be no shame to their reprehensible politics. Forget the GOP nonsense...

    As elected, the Dems should pass health care with a compassionate public option for the American people, because it is the morally correct thing to do and supported by the majority in our country.

    August 31, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. nora


    that would require EMPATHY Michael. We know that Republicans don't BELIEVE in empathy so why would we think you could be "guilted" into anything??

    did this man go to college??

    August 31, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Jeff in Virginia

    Steele, do you mean just like there was no guilt trip after Reagan's death? Or that of Tony Snow?

    Please. Your calculated belief in the "limited political memory" of us normal citizens is growing long in the tooth.

    August 31, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. pam Eugene OR

    The Republican party does not want affordable health care for people under any circumstance, guilt or otherwise. They simply don't care if medical bills bankrupt Americans'. So what...they have great insurance and screw the poor folks and the working poor.

    August 31, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. Gary

    I respect Sen Kennedy and his hard work, but I agree that his passing should not impact the healthcare debate. The current bill proposals that include a public option, a government backed co-op or even a single payer system are the wrong solutions to our problem. We need healthcare reform that focuses on private solutions....we need serious malpractice reform, we need to train more doctors/nurse/physical therapists...we need to make pre-existing condition exclusions illegal and we need to aggressively negotiate drug prices.

    Don't let your respect for a senior Senator coerce you into voting for a bad bill....we need the Republicans and Democrats to sit down and start over from scratch and find solutions that do not cause the government to get more involved in our healthcare and that do not create a new entitlement program....Please stay strong Blue Dogs, Republicans, Town hall rabble rousers, tea party goers.....we are counting on you!!!!

    August 31, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Peggy

    Typical rethuglican hypocrisy at work here. Let's face it - they will use ANYTHING (does anybody remember Weapons of Mass Destruction) to get what they want, but we should not be "guilted" into passing health care reform??????????

    August 31, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Steve from Florida

    Now, this guy is a real idiot! What an elitist!

    August 31, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Hot Patata

    After Steele's comments that Obama was vetted too lightly during the 2008 campaign simply because he was a black man, I'm surprised this guy is still allowed to have a microphone, much less a job with the Party.

    August 31, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. James Wagner

    It is time for members of Congress to get out of bed with the insurance companies and pass healthcare reform. Having a alternate health plan will allow many more people to have health care which will do the following:
    1- Provide preventive care to help prevent major illnesses.
    2-Help small business provide health care to employees.
    3-Lower traditional health plans costs, of course insurance companies won't like that as it might cut into their big profits.
    4-Boost the economy as there would be less days lost at work due to illness

    August 31, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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