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. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    "Guilted"? When will the GOP dump this moron? He's offensive.

    August 31, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Tom L

    Would the Democrats on here please stop saying that Republicans don't want reformn when they know that's not true? There are several Republicans who have gone on TV to explain what is felt to be the better way to go. There have also been several posts on here that explain our ideas.

    1. Tort reform – If you don't know what that means, simply put, loser pays. No more frivolous lawsuits
    2. More competition – open up the opportunity to buy insurance across state lines. More competition leads to lower prices

    There you go. 2 Simple ideas. Don't say Republicans don't have any ideas. The fact is, they do. And some of those ideas are pretty darn good and will help the average American out a great deal

    August 31, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    More slimy politics.
    No one is trying to guilt-trip anyone. Sounds more like the Dems are motivating themselves to keep working at it. Politics being what they are in the country, the other side always attempts to characterize things negatively. And add more muddle to the situation.

    August 31, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Jeff, TX

    Just no class at all.

    August 31, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Pete

    Instead of messing with 1/5 of the economy, Obama should just delcare a national "Booze and Sexual Assault Day" in honor of Ted Kennedy and leave it at that.

    August 31, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. ANGIE IN PA

    The Republicans dont want to see Healthcare reform at all nothing nada zip zilch they proved they dont want to change or reform After 8 years they sat by AND DID NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 31, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Brian

    Once again Republican Steele's mouth is doing much harm to the GOP. Somebody shut this guy up already!!!!!

    August 31, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Allison

    Steele is lower than a snake's belly.

    August 31, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Kennedy's Idea good - his plan bad

    As a Massachusetts Democrat I admire senator Kennedy for his efforts and his visions, but the health care reform bill before the Congress now is terrible flawed and should be scrapped for hree reasons (1) Our economy is still in the tank and unemployment is still at record leve,s – any government spending ought to be channeled and reserved for the economy; health care needs to wait; (2) The CBO (the independent budget office appointed by Democrats) is on record as saying that the health care plan on the table will NOT improve the quality of health care; (3) Thus far Democrats have utterly failed to show how this will be paid for.

    Senator Kennedy - I like you as a person, but your politics are not right at this time.

    August 31, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. I can see Canada from my house!

    Lets see...the GOP renamed National Airport in Washington DC after the man who fired the Air Traffic Controllers and then wanted to put his face on Mt. Rushmore, presumably to immortalize the conservative who set the trend for massive deficeit spending. Why not actually name the bill after the man who spent the bulk of his adult life trying to make something his family could afford accessible to the average American? If the GOP is will to immortalize an actor, why not someone who genuinely sacrificed for this country?

    3000 bills passed. Nice body of work: can any conservative lawmaker compare?

    No.

    August 31, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. donttreadonme

    It is the libs that are so blinded by their own ambitions that they can only see doing things one way. All of the Healthcare goals can be met without socializing medicine.

    It is dishonest to say it is all or nothing.

    August 31, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Keith in CA

    Steele's comments are truly insulting. Not just to Democrats and the memory of Senator Kennedy, but to the millions of American without health insurance. I've yet to hear anyone say "Pass this for Teddy". How many Republicans have exploited the 9/11 attacks for their own political gain? Guilt trips? No, it was fear mongering.

    August 31, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. bearced

    I think if Mr Steele and all other politicians actually comunicated with their constituants the way Teddy Kennedy did then we may not be having this debate. I always thought that Ted was to liberal, was riding on his family name and should have gone to jail after Chapaquidic. Although I still think he was too far left I greatly admire all the stories I have heard about him over the last week. If our elected represetatives would take the time and effort to show they care about this country and the people in it then we could have come to a reasonable compromise weeks ago.

    August 31, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. christopher

    i'm for universal health care IF EVERYONE decides to MAN UP and pay TAXES. I'm sick and tired of paying taxes when there are MANY people that go on NOT paying TAXES. Besides where is all this $$$ gonna come from? why do you ppl think healthcare would get better. thee gov't CANNOT take care of our VETS. and it's not like the gov't will pay car dealerships back from their sales for a LONG TIME!!! you think they will be able to handle 300 million Americans' HEALTHCARE BILLS!!! GIVE ME A BREAK

    August 31, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. single mom

    Anyone read Paul Krugman's latest article in the NYT saying big deficits are actually GOOD for the economy?
    Let's see – we're up to 4-5 trillion now and Obamacare should about double that.
    Um, no, thanks.
    I'd rather not pay half my salary in taxes to pay health insurance for someone capable who thinks the word work is a joke.

    August 31, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. David

    Yeah, they should be "guilted" into it because of the number of people who either do not have care or are denied care by a grossly avaricious insurance industry that makes money by NOT helping people.

    August 31, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Tom W

    This guy is such a dope ... why even bother telling anyone what he has to say? The Republicans have made it clear they are not interested in Healthcare Reform. They have said as much publicly. And, as far as their "plans", where were they when they had the Senate, House and White House control? They didn't care then, and they sure don't care now. They make too much off the Healthcare Industry to want to stop the gravy train ... in the interest of the average American

    August 31, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Pa Santigie

    It puzzles me to see that human beings do not want fellow humans to enjoy the benefits of good health simply because they can are not fortunate to be wealthy or are blessed with a job like them.
    This is meanness at it's highest. Yet these are the first to cry down other countries and condemn them if they were to do the same.
    Shame on you Michael Steel.....shame.

    August 31, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. donttreadonme

    And when the Government takes over an industry that represents 1/5 of our total economy there will be no corruption? Take out state restrictions and let the companies really compete for our business.

    Affordable, portable and private!

    August 31, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. notfooledbydistractions

    You're right steele – they shouldn't do it in someones memory – they should do it because it's the right thing to do for the majority of Americans and for small and large businesses in this country. It's just too bad our politicians work for the lobbyists first, party second and country somewhere down the line.

    August 31, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Pat

    Steele is a world class jerk. I am so so tired of him and his stupid remarks. He does no service to the GOP. I don't think there is a danger of the Senate passing a bill just because Kennedy died. But the man did give his upmost energy to that cause. If some sort of bill does pass, I hope it is named for him. But to say it will guilt folks into voting for a bill due to his death is just a very stupid remark.

    August 31, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. a progressive liberal and proud of it

    Health care for all Americans is a moral issue and should not be reduced to a financial issue. That is why EVERY OTHER WESTERN DEMOCRACY MAKES SURE THAT EVERY ONE OF THEIR CITIZENS HAS GOOD AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE. Why does America not live up to the moral obligation to it's citizens that every other western Democracy does????

    August 31, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. DH

    They should feel guilty. The Repulican party has been fighting against healfh care reform and have offered no alternatives to the Insurance/Drug run coverage. They say it is being rushed through by Obama.......If 40 years of trying for public health care is rushing it through then how much more time is needed.

    August 31, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Joshua College Station Texas

    Hm, classy response, Mr Steele. Very classy.

    (not really)

    August 31, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Susan

    I doubt we can 'guilt' the heartless GOP into anything...they are amazingly cruel and lack the moral compass that should be a part of their Christian beliefs.

    August 31, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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