July 3rd, 2010
12:02 PM ET
4 years ago

Liz Cheney calls for Steele's resignation

RNC Chairman Michael Steele is facing another call to resign.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele is facing another call to resign.

Washington (CNN) - Another prominent conservative is asking Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to resign, calling his comments on the war in Afghanistan "deeply disappointing and wrong."

Liz Cheney, a former State Department official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said in a statement released Saturday that Steele must go.

"RNC Chairman Michael Steele's comments about the war in Afghanistan were deeply disappointing and wrong," Cheney said. "The chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory in the war on terror – a victory that cannot be accomplished if we do not prevail in Afghanistan. I endorse fully Bill Kristol's letter to Chairman Steele. It is time for Chairman Steele to step down."

Cheney, a founding member of Keep America Safe, a conservative advocacy group focused on national security and foreign policy issues, is not the first to call for Steele's resignation. On Friday, influential conservative and editor of the Weekly Standard William Kristol called on Steele to step down.

Kristol was joined by former South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, who finished second to Michael Steele in the Republican National Committee chairman's race last year, and also called on the committee to oust their embattled chairman.

The controversy was sparked by Steele's comments made at a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut Thursday. A YouTube video shows the RNC chairman declaring of the war in Afghanistan, "This was a war of Obama's choosing."

"This is not something the United States actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in," he added.

That statement is at odds with the fact the United States led a NATO coalition with overwhelming public support to invade Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Steele also appeared to suggest any conflict in Afghanistan may be unwinnable.

On Friday, the RNC defended Steele.

"The Chairman clearly supports our troops but believes that success of the war effort in Afghanistan requires the ongoing support of the American people," RNC Communications Director Doug Heye said.

And late Friday afternoon, Steele issued his own statement on the matter, saying that "During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama made clear his belief that we should not fight in Iraq, but instead concentrate on Afghanistan. Now, as President, he has indeed shifted his focus to this region. That means this is his strategy. And, for the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war," Steele said.

"As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one. That is why I supported the decision to increase our troop force and, like the entire United States Senate, I support General Petraeus' confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan."

-CNN's Alexander Mooney, Peter Hamby and Sarah Baker contributed to this report


Filed under: GOP • Liz Cheney • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. Jerry in NC

    I could care less about what happens within the republican party. However, who in the h*#Z@ do these republicans think they are, calling for people to resign, because they disagree with their comments. These self-righteous white people really do have a "GOD complex"! They're only attacking Steele because he's black...the same reason the constantly attack President Obama.

    July 3, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. LouAz

    What has Liz Cheney got to do with the Flat Earth Repubs ? She is in the Nazi Party isn't she ?. This report is like Jeff Dahmer commenting on Attila the Hun's table manners – POINTLESS !

    July 3, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. j3susIsBlakMan

    But Afghanistan has nothing to do with the war on terror. Everybody is in Pakistan, and comes across the border to fight in Afghanistan. Get real people

    July 3, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Bob Ramos

    To the Repubs.....Please give Mike Steele another chance....he means well and will continue to serve the RNC well.

    A strong Democrat....(he....he...he)

    July 3, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. jstsaying

    Why is Liz Cheney speaking on behalf of the Republican Party? She was never elected for office and her lifestyle is counter to the values of the party, why hasn't her rich father been able to get her to convert to straight through religious means?

    July 3, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. rrock

    Liz Cheney should go to Afghanistan and fight rather than preaching from the arm chair daddy gave her.

    July 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. LouAz

    "a former State Department official" – Just what did Liz Cheney do in the State Dept ? What dates ?

    July 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Real Republicans

    I say get rid of this guy too. He's more of risk than anything else now...JACKASS.

    July 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Susie

    Steele was right the first time: a ground war in Afghanistan that has gone on for TEN YEARS is not winnable. We are in debt, we are losing soldiers, we are killing innocent people, and for what? Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9-11. We are not able to chase down every person who hates us, and by demolishing countries, we are generating more enemies, not friends. The GOP is so fond of their war machine economy, which has bankrupted the US. But sure, Liz, keep the dollars flowing to Haliburton and your dad's pension. Keep supporting the mercenaries of Blackwater. Keep throwing good money after bad. Enough! Time for peace and time to stop trying to police the world.

    July 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Joe, San Diego

    Just like Bush Steele confused Iraq (WMD) with the Taliban(September 11th Afghanistan) um time for Steele to step down... the Republican Party is trying to hard to oppose the President instead of working with him and offer concrete suggestions instead of just the relentless criticizing.
    July 4th a day of Independence the President has his rounds to make and BBQ to eat along the way watch the Republican party criticize him for eating a hamburger instead of plugging an oily Gulf hole, watch the Republic party criticize him for traveling to a city multi-tasking and enjoying an ice cream cone... apparently the Republican party can only juggle one thing criticism!

    July 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Wow.

    Needs to go

    July 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Brook

    This is what inevitably happens when all the GOP does is object, protest, slam, bash, put down and vilify the opposition. It's such an ingrained, knee-jerk behavior from them that they forget we are still on the same side, and they end up cutting off their nose to spite their face.

    July 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Wow.

    I'm sorry, he really needs to go. He is an embarassment to Republicans, blacks, and America. Stop keeping the most ignorant man of all time in the office. They have smarter ones that should have been leaders. This is what happens when you play the race card folks.

    July 3, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Real Republicans

    What a fool. Why didn't they let him go in the first place?

    July 3, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. goon

    Who's Liz Cheney? Oh that's right, a member of a right wing patriot group.

    July 3, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. really now? come on

    get rid of him...

    July 3, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. MikefromWV

    Though I have to agree that Steele has stuck his foot in his mouth yet again, it is in the interests of all democrats that he stay right where he his. He is like the gift that keeps on giving.

    Plus, I would have to disagree with anything coming out of the mouth of Liz Cheney. Everyone makes her out like she is some kind of really influential person. If it weren't for her dad, no one would even know who she was. She is not exactly the brightest light on the Christmas tree.

    July 3, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. jimmy

    He's wrong and right. He's wrong by saying this is Obama's war. Obama took over a country that for 8 years was run by republican incompetence and negligence and put us in a war based on lies. He is right to say that this "war" in Afghanistan cannot be won. Did Bush believe that we would just walk in and starting building McDonalds and every Muslim would start wearing American Eagle clothing? The middle East has been fighting and oppressing each other for thousands of years. If they cannot learn to accept and tolerate each other after all this time, they never will.

    July 3, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. j3susIsBlakMan

    What importance is a statement by a FORMER member of the State Department? She is saying this why? Michael Steele clearly said IN his statement he supported the troops. Republicans lie and cheat amongst themselves even, and here is yet another example..

    July 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Larry DelRe

    Steele has strayed from the dogma, he must be excommunicated! We all must adhere to the strict march of the Church of Republicanology. Yes, you may still say whatever pops into your heads against liberals, progressives, and Obama; but the faithful must check their accusations against our dogma always, without exception. As always, thank you for your hard work. And your anger. And your guardianship of our vision of America. If we could only get rid of the 55% that aren't us.

    July 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. db

    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele should have never been put in that powerful position. I was over his head and his untested beliefs and skill have finally come out. His Republican beliefs are outdated, ineffective, and wrong. He is letting the Democratic Party leaders to continue to blame Republicans almost two years after they did a clean sweep of the Oval Office, House, and Senate. Even with a super majority the Democrats have not accomplished anything but drive the USA deeper into debt, have tried to violate the Constitution, take rights away from citizens, passed laws that do not represent the will of the people nor their desires, pandered to foreign governments, are not protecting the USA against foreign invaders from the south and in fact have encouraged it, continued to send Billions of dollars overseas to countries that admonish the US and it's current policies, and last but more to home, have distroyed the value of a dollar to the US citizens. What has Steele done to rally the citizens, absoluetly nothing. Again, he is ineffective and should be replaced. As I see it the Republican party made a huge mistake in their trust in him.

    July 3, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Brad

    Liz, please do us all a favour and shut up. Thank you.

    July 3, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. TonyH

    Put Liz in charge of the RNC. It would guarantee the Democrats a victory in November...

    July 3, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Patriot

    Keep talking trash, Repukes......talk yourselves right into extinction!

    July 3, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. ysidero

    Steele, Palin, Barton, Sessions, Barbour, Gohmert, et al... The gifts that keep on giving! Keep pulling back that curtain and showing America what Republicans really believe (or are willing to lie about).

    July 3, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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