December 22nd, 2009
05:36 PM ET
9 months ago

Gibbs jumps on Steele report

Gibbs quipped over a report Steele is making thousands of dollars off paid speeches.
Gibbs quipped over a report Steele is making thousands of dollars off paid speeches.

(CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs couldn't help but pounce on a Washington Times report Tuesday that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has received thousands of dollars in paid speeches since becoming chairman of the GOP.

While not delivering a formal response to the report, Gibbs sarcastically asked the White House press corps Tuesday how much Steele was paid to conduct the recent conference call in which Steele declared Democrats were "flipping the bird" at the American people with their health care bill.

Gibbs later returned to the subject when a reporter's cell phone interrupted the briefing, leading Gibbs to declare that if Steele was on the line it would cost $30,000 to answer the call.

Gibbs' comments come hours after the Washington Times reported Steele continues to garner between $10,000 to $15,000 in paid speeches across the country at "colleges, trade associations, and other groups."

Though the practice is not illegal according to the RNC's own polices, several former Republican Party chairmen are quoted in the article criticizing Steele, saying the chairmanship is a full time job in itself.

Gail Gitcho, an RNC spokeswoman, told CNN in a statement that the whole controversy is "silly."

"Many Democrat and Republican national chairmen have regularly received outside income," Gitcho said. "Michael Steele has been giving inspirational speeches based on his personal story long before he was elected RNC Chairman and will long after."

"Chairman Steele of course does not receive compensation for any speeches conducted in his duties as Chairman," she continued. "He is more than a full time Chairman, is in complete compliance with all RNC rules and regulations, and is wholly focused on growing the Republican Party."


Filed under: Michael Steele • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. rumple

    I just love reading all this uneducated comments.. Loving Gibbs yeah HAHA. Dont think man has ever told the truth in the past 11 months...

    But then again guess you people feel you Obligated to be handed everything.. There is such a thing as hard work.

    December 22, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. awestruck

    Let me see here. Gibbs, who makes a living giving speeches is disparaging someone else for doing the same thing. Can you say hypocrite.

    December 22, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Jane/Seattle

    MEANWHILE as Politics continues, as usual, There are Children Suffering Everywhere! Duh! Under Capitalism Everything Becomes For Sale – Even The Country! America=SOLD! But Peace On Earth Is just a Nice Thing To Say! The Real Serious Legislators of Ethical Worth Can Be Detected with Time! And we don't have that many! Thanks, Bernie, Clair, Dennis, Alan, Jim and a few more. Peace

    December 22, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. awestruck

    Can I get big AMEN for Michael Armstrong.

    December 22, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    Look at Steeles eyes. His eyes look like a bug about to hit your windshield. Now to show how stupid he is. if one sees a train wreck coming one gets out of the way. Steele sees it coming and stares it down until he is smacked.

    December 22, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Kiros manu

    If you look the word jealous in a dictionary, you would see Michael Steele’s picture. This guy is so jealous of the president to be the first black president; he says anything to undermine him. This man is crazy. Watch his word choice, he speaks like a 14-year-old street gang. He is a disgrace to some of us black fox.

    December 22, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. a little sad

    this black liberal hates Obama December 22nd, 2009 1:22 pm ET

    Who gives a crap what this four eye jerk says, he's a total LOOOOSEER!

    ***************************

    Which four eyed jerk are you talking about – Steele or Gibbs?

    December 22, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Christian Values

    The speeches can be found in the 'fiction' section at your local convention hall.

    December 22, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Dan, TX

    Mr. Gibbs, you are irrelivant. Are you still campaigning for your boss. You all are phony people inside the White House. Get out. You do not deserve to be there.

    December 22, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. RichP the Pocono's

    At least he is not putting the money in his freezer...

    December 22, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. CommonSense09

    Steele is dam joke and not to be taken serious! How can a puppet for the party get paid to give speeches? Sounds like a actor in the making rather than a politician....

    December 22, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Ralph

    . I like Gibbs. He is always good for a laugh or a lie.

    December 22, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. AJ

    It is appalling but really, our politicians are actually bodies for hire so if those in congress can do it, why not Steele? The entire system will be corrupt until money is taken out of the equation.

    December 22, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. donttreadonme

    He makes money doing paid speeches across the country on his own time hardly a crime! Plus he is not an elected official! But I know dems anyone who tries to make money outside of a UNION pay scale are criminals right? Unless it is Obama filling his private coffers with huge book sales!

    December 22, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. dar

    Unlike most of you Dems, the republican's work for thier money and don't wait for a free hand out and if he has two job's, Good for him.

    You Dems are so funny, every time a republican makes money (palin, steele) you scorn them and call them names. You act like a bunch of little babies, smell's like jealousy to me. I guess you think that these people shoud send you some of their hard earned cash. OH thats right you voted for Odumbo and he thinks that way toooooooo.

    2010/2012

    December 22, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. katiec

    Anyone of any intelligence takes Steele with a grain of salt. He has no creditibility along with the party of NOthing but he sure loves to shoot off his mouth.
    "It is better to be thought a fool than speak out and remove all doubt".
    This certainly relates to his rantings.

    December 22, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Laurie

    He is a trash talking ignorant buffoon. Oh well, if Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and FOX News can continue to make big bucks off of birthers, death panels, conspiracy theories, and outright lies, I guess that this gutter snipe can make a few bucks spewing garbage and obscenities. Gotta be proud of him!!! Aint America a great country! He is a real positive role model for young people pursuing public office(HA, HA!)

    December 22, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. CHANGE.COM

    Steele needs the extra money to fix his glasses that are out of shape and out of focus. That pretty much describes what the Republican Party stands for nowadays. Bring back the party of Lincoln and Ike to work together and solve the nation's problems!

    December 22, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Joe M

    Mr.AHHHHH is back.....Every other lie out of Gibbs mouth is AHHHHHH...I thinks he gets it from Obozo..Who lies 100% of the time.

    December 22, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Willie K.

    Dems should be paying this guy to speak, as every time he opens his mouth it helps the party of Obama.

    December 22, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Me Down South

    Gotta love the photo!

    December 22, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. AEK

    First of all, who cares what Michael Steele says. He's a pawn for the real power brokers in the Republican party with no real influence except to engage in the types of dialog referenced in this article.

    My favorite line..."I am tired of this Congress thinking it knows better than me and my family how to provide for our health care now and in the future."

    Really Michael, chairman of the Republican party, ME and my family. Couldn't pick a "face" that at least had a grasp of English grammar.

    December 22, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. NV

    Typical liberal BS. Always trying to tear down a successful black man. This is racism from the left. Dems need poor people, especially minorities to stay in power. Once you have no need for the government cheese, you have no need for the government.

    December 22, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. hereslauphinatcha

    Republicans are irresponsible; the only thing they’ve done and EXCELLENT job at is obstructing and lying to the American people. They think that by publishing what deals were made with Independents and Conservative Democrats that it would cause shock and dismay with the public.

    News flash! We know what is done and how it gets done. If the shoe were on the other foot, how many concessions would you make—better yet; media, please publish the “deals” that Republicans made to get bills passed that contributed to the destruction of our economy that they’re complaining about.

    Republican Congressman and Senators; instead of asking where are the jobs and the constant complaint about this administration’s failure to produce all of the millions of jobs that were lost at once. The question should be– what the hell happened to all of the jobs?

    December 22, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Mark

    HD – And what exactly would you call these comments by Gibbs? Are you freakin' kidding me?! Cmon. How many times have we seen Gibbs/the White House make disparaging remarks about someone/group just to get headlines? Grow up.

    December 22, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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