October 28th, 2009
04:40 PM ET
4 years ago

Steele standing behind Scozzafava

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will back the GOP nominee in NY-23.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will back the GOP nominee in NY-23.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – After a dizzying few days of prominent Republican endorsements of the Conservative Party's nominee in New York's 23rd congressional district, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said he will stand behind the embattled GOP candidate in the upcoming special election.

Steele will back Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, breaking with some party conservatives - including Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Fred Thompson and Dick Armey - who are backing third-party candidate Doug Hoffman.

"I support the Republican nominee, as the Republican Party chairman," Steele told MSNBC Wednesday morning. "And that's the way it should go."

Scozzafava has an endorsement from former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the NRA - but some prominent conservative leaders, activists and groups who view her as too liberal have thrown their weight behind Hoffman.

Scozzafava, Hoffman and Bill Owens are on the ballot in the special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by former GOP Rep. John Hughes, now President Obama's Secretary of the Army. Election Day is November 3.


Filed under: Bill Owens • Dede Scozzafava • Doug Hoffman • Michael Steele • NY-23
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Wake Up

    Bye Steele. Stand up for people who will be against debt, bailouts, and runaway spending!! Democrate Light will not due...that's what got us to Obama.

    October 28, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Jane

    Does anyone really care????

    October 28, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter, I'm no anorak, but....

    Divide and conquer, baby. Divide and conquer. I think it's great that the ultra-conservative and the not-so-conservative republicans are at eachothers' throats. Keep it up. 2010 = no worries. Have a nice day!

    October 28, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. Mr. Moderate

    I love how all these "good conservatives" are backing Hoffman to "get the party back to Reagan." Apparently they forgot Reagan's 11th commandment – "Never speak ill of another Republican"

    Truth is, Reagan would be considered a RINO by today's Republican party. They just don't get it – the independants supported him because he focused on smaller government and a strong national defense. Social issues were never a priority.

    When the current crew launched the culture wars and were hijacked by the Christian right they lost many people like me. Until they TRULY get back to being the party of Reagan they will wander the Wilderness.

    October 28, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Bluebonnet

    Scozzafava is a loser and, unfortunately, so is Steele!

    October 28, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I don't think I would want a guy who claims he doesn't really care that the GOP has a favorable rating of 20% to give me any kind of endorsement. But the way today's GOP is going they are probably getting use to kisses of death.

    October 28, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    OH NOES! Watch out Scozzy...Mushmouth's behind you...duck the spittle!

    October 28, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. J.Crobuzon

    Did he ask RNC Chairman Rush about this first?

    October 28, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. John, Brooklyn, NY

    The Republicans have demonstrated once again that they are not the "big tent" party that Ronald Reagan helped to create. Instead, they are a petty, ideologically-driven, clique that cannot tolerate a candidate – even a fellow Republican – who doesn't tow the ideological line.

    October 28, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Zion

    That's right Michael, stand behind the REAL REPUBLICANS. We are Newt Gingrich Republicans, and we're here even after the loons are gone. Where are the Reaganistas baby?

    October 28, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Stacie

    Mark my words...the Republican party will split in two very soon. The ultra religious conservatives in one party and the moderates in the other.

    October 28, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. D. Tree

    LOL, after 8 years of Bush and Cheney the Republican base thinks their leaders are not radical enough!

    Pay attention America, these people are crazy!

    October 28, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Steve, New York City

    This is going to be one of the rare times that I actually agree with Steele (and Newt Gingrich, for that matter) –
    if the Republican party has not figured out that it needs to reach beyond the "Southern talk radio" crowd (and be a "bigger tent"), it might have to resign itself to the fringe!

    October 28, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Felonious Monk

    Idiots and politics go hand in hand, or is that foot in mouth?

    October 28, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Perusing-through

    THE HANDWRITING IS ON THE WALL

    You would guess that a WISE Michael Steele would see the handwriting on the wall by now. The Republican Party have NO RESPECT for Steele's political views, nor do the GOP appreciate and respect Steele's efforts to grow and expand the party. Steele is just a "glorified affirmative-action" place-holder used to provide the Republicans the appearance of being an opened party and not just a "Jesse Helms, George Wallace, old white man's" party. (Even Sarah Airhead Palin can see that from Alaska).

    October 28, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Dick Cheney just endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchinson for Governor of Texas; remember she replace Tom DeLay when he quit and all the staff in Washington quit when she came. What a joke.

    October 28, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Wow

    What did I miss? Hoffman doesn't live in the district that he's trying to represent, why isn't Steele doing something about this? I mean, as RNC head, surely he has the power to take care of this.......... NEVER MIND.

    October 28, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Deb fromTexas

    What a dummy Steele is? Doesn't he make you want to throw-up?

    October 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. anotherGDlefty

    Michael will back whoever has an (R). Those are his orders.

    Please continue to splinter the party until the vote is so diluted between the baggers, birthers, tenthers & secessionists that none of them win..................

    The conservative party.......what a joke.

    October 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Gee Sarah, Why Did You Call Your Kid a Retard?

    The Republican Rebirter Party does a pretty good version of a circular fire squad.
    2010 should be fun as we watch the purification rituals played throughout America.

    October 28, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. The Party of No = The Party of Nobody

    I love it! The Republican'ts are imploding! And the righter-than-right conservatives don't have the numbers behind them to do anything except steal votes from the Republican'ts. I can forsee Democrats doing just fine in the upcoming mid-terms. We may lose one here or there, but the righties. . . .they are in big, big trouble. Makes my progressive heart sing!

    October 28, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Kendall

    I think Steele should run for POTUS. And I think he should be the Republican Nominee. Just my opinion

    October 28, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Robert

    Didn't anybody tell Steele he's this century's recipient of the GOP's "Transparent Attempt to Appear not to be a Bunch of Bigots" award? Last century's recipient was Clarence Thomas. He needs to follow Thomas' lead and just smile for the cameras and keep his mouth shut.

    October 28, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. mjm

    Actually, the Republican's will win with either candidate. They're both fiscal conservatives. Hoffman is more conservative on social issues, but this is NY were talking about.

    NY would do well with either one.

    October 28, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Pete

    Reagan never focused on "smaller government", he simply gave speeches saying he did.

    October 28, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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