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. Alexis

    Steele should of been so greatful to Pres. Obama, cause if it wasn't for Obama getting elected President of the USA, the republican would of never elected him chairman of the Republican National Committee. So everytime I see him on tv all I can think of he's just a front, a little PUPPET, I'm sorry to be one saying that he's just a token black guy. Until the Republican party get their Great White Hope, like this congresswoman was asking, they gonna keep on using Steele.

    August 31, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Zion

    Republicans may have gained traction off the Democrats weak start with Healthcare, but it won't last because they are attracting only the uneducated to their party.

    August 31, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Richard

    If you think that Public Health Care is that bad, write your self out of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The rest of us would be eternally thankful.

    August 31, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Rob in NC

    The RNC elected a leader and this is the guy? The other day he didn't want to touch Medicare, but disapproved of government run health care.

    I don't know if I support the health care bill or don't, because currently there isn't a bill to support. I don't want government run health care, but the current system is going to bring down this country as it is. Something needs to change.

    I do know I'm tired of people like Michael Steele complaining and whining, but bringing nothing to the table. If you can't make a legitimate suggestion please shut-up.

    August 31, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Ain't life strange?

    Isn't the GOP's use of 'the memory of our fallen soldiers' to perpetuate the war in Iraq the same thing...guilt? Don't get me wrong... if the bill for health care reform isn't ready I don't want it passed either. But, I think the implied purpose of pushing the passage of this bill is aimed more at co-operation by republicans and conservative democrats to be a little more open minded and participate in constructive debate; not lying and using scare tatics to turn people against an important piece of legislation. As for Mr. Steele, he's one more well insured person who has no clue what it's like to be uninsured and sick, nor does he see the importance of the bills passage as quickly as possible.

    August 31, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Jack in Florida

    Health care reform is the RIGHT thing to do..........

    August 31, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. RealityKing

    Kennedy free loaded off the Amercian taxpayer under the pretense of helping the poor with policies that undermined them. Plain and simple..

    August 31, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Democrat for Palin Primary 2012

    I thought long and hard, what could be something positive about this guy? I got it finally... he can form better sentences than our beloved Parah Salin... and also... er...well that's about it 🙂

    August 31, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Pepou

    Steele: Is there one single time when you don't put your big foot in your big stupid mouth ?

    August 31, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Farrell in Houston

    Steele, once again proves he's an idiot. Regardless of the healthcare reform issues at hand and Kennedy's death, Steele should show some respect to the Kennedy family if he doesn't have any left for himself. But then again, how low can you go, and Steele is about as low as one can get.

    August 31, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Leandro Oliva

    You're right, Mr. Steele. Americans should be inspired by the legacy of Ted Kennedy to pass health care reform, not guilted.

    August 31, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. carlo

    Doesn't he realize that part of the reason why the RNC hasn't kicked him out on his rear? Kennedy's life's cause was healthcare for everyone and healthcare as a right and not a privilege.

    This coming from the party who used Reagan like a raggety mop when he died.

    August 31, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Cal

    Kennedy never showed any guilt so it shouldn't enter into the picture.

    August 31, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    AMEN! Maybe Kennedy was a good friend and good family man (if you ignore the drinking and philandering), but HE STUNK as a politician. He spent his whole political career manipulating the poor and ignorant, making promises he KNEW were not in the budget. He was obsessed with taking money away from hard-working people so he could buy votes from the poor to preserve his own power. (Apparently he thought only Kennedys should be be wealthy.) It's because of power-hungry politicians like Kennedy that we are 11 trill in debt. The suggestion that we should convert to total socialism in this HYPOCRITE'S memory is ridiculous. The democrats must really be getting desperate.

    August 31, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. J

    What a dirt bag.

    August 31, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Barbara Independent in NY

    The Republicans haven't felt guilty EVER about Americans without health care. Why would the feel guilty because the Champion of this cause has passed away? Michael, you have to have a conscience in order to feel guilty.

    August 31, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Bush_Low_IQ

    We Want Government Provided Health Care NOW. 😐

    US Government provides Free Education and Social Secutity. – IS THIS NOT SOCIALISM ?????

    US Government Should also Provide Health Care.

    All Those who oppose State Provided Health Care are:

    1. Health Insurance Mafia
    2. Thugs, Crooks, Rascals and Criminals.
    3. Health Insurance Mafia want Health Care to be Privately Controlled, so that they can Plunder, Embezzle and Extort.
    4. Get the Health Care out of Private and Mafia Conrtol
    5. GOP is the Criminal Party of America.
    6. Rush Limbaugh is an Uneducated and a Nuisance Creator. He is Misleading Americans. GOP supports Limbaugh because, "birds of the same feathers, flock together", "all Idiots also flock together".
    7. Obama & Holder should put all these Crooks in Jail, including Bush and Cheney. – GO HOLDER GO.
    8. GOP is a useless party. GOP is all done, gone and finished.

    August 31, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Klow

    Do the Republicans ever plan to do anything towards fixing the healthcare systems. It seems that everytime this issue is raised all they have to offer is "No" or finding some way to shoot down an idea. This is geting really, really old.

    August 31, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. angry

    Steele go away. We don't want you in the party anymore because you are stupid.

    August 31, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    Good Job Steele.

    The HC bill is horrible. The morons who want it passed haven't read the bill or are the morons who constantly don't take responsibility and want someone else to pay for them.

    Bring me a HC bill that has the following and I'll get on the band wagon:
    (1) No special HC privileges for congress and senate

    (2) TORT reform (ie, controls the lawyers like John Edwards who do nothing but sue, sue, sue and drive up Medical Insurance costs)

    (3) Enable insurance companies to compete across state lines

    (4) Help push medical standards that will help drive reduction in systems / implementation costs

    (5) No free HC for illegals

    Start with a plan than all parities and majority of legal citizens can get behind and then we can move forward


    Let all DUMOcrats pay extra TAXES., when they don't cheat.

    August 31, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. CONNIE

    Health care REFORM is what every American wants, what Americans don't want is a National Healthcare, get it idiots (liberals). There is nothing free in life and if you think that having National Healthcare you will see alot of people quitting their jobs because they couldn't afford to work and take care of all the free-loaders in this country. If you could see how many drug addicts and alcoholics get SSI for a life choice it would me you sick. My back is so heavy from carry so many people, i have stop all Federal taxes coming out of my check and i will be glad to pay them at the end of the year and not before.

    August 31, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Stephanie2009

    Not guilted, no.

    Inspired, yes.

    Very much so.

    The facts are clear about who is doing healthcare well in the world – and who is not. And guess what? We stink at it. 31 cents of every healthcare dollar in the US is going to overhead/profit/admin costs, compared to 1.5 in Canada and under 5 in many industrialized countries. 76% of our citizens want a public option.

    It's time for this country (and Congress) to stop this fear-mongering and distorting of the facts, put the special interests of the insurance industry aside, learn from other countries what works and what doesn't and prove that the USA can do it best.

    This process is a travesty. Our news coverage on this issue largely looks like the very worst of a very bad reality tv show. Enough is enough.

    August 31, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Mr Steele,

    There is a significant difference between a "guilt trip" and an "inspired moral imperative". But, then again, you're a Republican so I guess moral imperatives to help people are simply not in your DNA.

    August 31, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Idiot_Pelosi


    I love these Obama-manians who say "HC REFORM NOW".

    Please define HC REFORM. You can't even explain it.

    If you can, then tell me how you pay for it?

    You can't.

    NUFF said

    August 31, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Mike in MN

    It is sad the Senator Kennedy passed away.
    But a health reform bill that comes with a public option, a new committee of 27 govermnemt appointed officals that will have total authority of defining what a private plan must be including what is and is not covered, copay, deductibles and premiums, and comes at a cost of a trillion plus dollars and adds to the deficit, is still a piece of crap. By the way read the bill. If your private employeer based plan does not meet the definition of the committee's qualified plan, after a 5 year grace period, you can't keep your private plan. That is a total goverment take over of health care.

    August 31, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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