July 4th, 2010
10:03 AM ET
8 years ago

McCain question's Steele's ability to lead RNC


In an interview that aired Sunday, Sen. John McCain said there was no excuse for RNC Chairman Michael Steele's recent comments about the war in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain sharply criticized Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Sunday, calling his comments on the war in Afghanistan "wildly inaccurate."

In an interview from Afghanistan broadcast on the ABC program "This Week," McCain, R-Arizona, said there was no excuse for Steele's statements that the war launched by former President George W. Bush was "of (President Barack) Obama's choosing" and may be unwinnable.

"I think that Mr. Steele is going to have to assess whether he can still lead the Republican Party as chairman of the Republican National Committee," said McCain, a veteran senator who was the Republican presidential candidate in 2008.

His criticism follows calls for Steele's resignation by Liz Cheney, a former State Department official and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol and former South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, who finished second to Steele in the RNC chairman's race last year.

Steele has issued a statement on the matter, saying that Obama had shifted the war effort to Afghanistan since taking office in January 2009.

"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 in the statement.

Filed under: GOP • John McCain • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Adalbert

    The abilities of both of these guys are questionable. One is just as incompetent as the other.

    July 4, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. diridi

    because he is a black, why in the first place you chose????

    July 4, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. Seattle Sue

    I would have thought McCain would spin it so that the Afghanistan war was Barack Obama and Bill Clinton's fault. Looks like Liz Cheney has crawled out from under her rock to put her two cents in. Now I wonder how long it will take Dick (crooked mouth) Cheney to comment on the Gulf oil spill. Of course if and when he does, it will be the Democrats fault and he will not mention Halliburton.

    July 4, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Donnatella

    Even old man McCain knows this nut case has to go what are they waiting on, the token has spoke his last words. He threw the troops under the bus and for that he should be fired.

    July 4, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. GI Joe

    McSongbird (after selecting Failin' Palin the hate-spreading quitter) is NOT one to be criticising anyone about choices or words.

    Keep Steele and dump McSongbird. We don't need the republican flip-flopping hypocrit having even ONE vote in the destiny of our country.

    Vote NO to the party of NO.

    July 4, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. ysidero

    Steele is half right – Afghanistan is unwinnable.

    July 4, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. taylor

    Wow McCain finally telling the truth. This is and was Bush's WAR

    July 4, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. cspurgeon

    Both idiots need to reevaluate their political futures. Both with a massive case of ego and no real contribution to this country.

    July 4, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Willy Brown

    McCain is a liberal.

    July 4, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |

    1. In contradicting EVERYTHING Obama does, Steel picks out the WRONG subject to oppose the President on.

    2. Steet doubles down on his insane comment about it being "Obama's war"

    3. Steel implodes. Hey we all saw it coming! It was a matter of time before this fool was run out on a rail by the GOP itself!!!

    July 4, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Lee Prez

    Defense Conractors have their hands deep into the pockets of most politicians in WASH. Its in their best interests to mantain a war like Afghanistan: Unwinnable, needing a bunch of money, as AlQhaida, and the masterminds are stationed there (most probrbly they are not) so we can keep a never ending war going. Gates already asked for less money spent on troops, and their welfare so more money can be spent filling the contractors pockets...

    July 4, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Liberal4Obama

    Republicans hired Steele because he was black so he could criticize President Obama and doing so in a way he couldn't be called Racist.

    But for them to say Steele strayed from the script is very hypocritical, if you see the whole clip you will hear that this is the Republican Strategy, a talking point, that instead of discussing BUSHs war and answering questions about that they were going to rewrite history and call it OBAMAs war so they could take shots at President Obama instead.

    But just like the Republican Strategy of demonizing President Obama for demanding BP pay oil spill victims for their lost income and call it SOCIALISM the GOBP backed off this strategy once it was clear to them the BP love fest they started was met with astonishment and disgust by the American people who see BP as the main and only culprit and avoiding their responsibility to make Americans whole.

    July 4, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" Economics has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    And to think McCrypt would have been the leader of the party of GObP, if the Geezer and Gidget had won in '08.

    "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran..." would have been the third war these war hawks would have started as part of the new 'christian crusades".

    July 4, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Carol

    But John, your best friend Sarah Palin thinks Steele is great! At any rate, they are all losers.

    July 4, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. WeDonia L. Timmerman

    Mr. Micheal Steele,
    I work for a funding outfit to raise money for the Rep. Party. I have this to say to you ,You love the party so much then resign. Because you are costing the party money. Because you don't know when to keep your mouth shut. You are a embrassment to the party and the goverment. You have forgotten where you come from and who you work for. The American people no longer respect you they look at you as someone who needs to be let go. Do us all a favor and RESIGN. Or we're going to be under the democrats thumb for 2 more years.
    This is from someone who care about the Republican party.
    Thank You
    WeDonia L. Timmerman

    July 4, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. OneNation4All

    The Republican party better get their act together. Or, they will find themselves in the minority until they develop real leadership and vision, and not a bunch of "No" voters just for the sake of trying to sabotage Obama and America. A true Republican (not sure if there is one in today's America desperately needs to send a message to America that they are not going to stand for the Christian right wing dingers and the Tea Party does not in any way represent true Republican principles. The Sarah Palins and Rush Limbaugh's of America should not be looked at as Conservative leaders for change and direction.

    July 4, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. LIB

    WOW! Republicans continue to show how rediculous they are. Imagine, that we let these clowns run the country! Recently, I have not seen or heard one who has any intelligent thoughts. Gee, it really makes the criticism of President Obama absurd. To some, he may not be great but he is the best we have right now.

    July 4, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. John Wilson, Racine, WI

    Poor, poor John McLame; he is even worse than token Steele and really has absolutely no credibility to be getting on anyone in the GOP.

    His sorry attempt to gain some spotlight and be relevant again is simply pitiful… AZ should retire him in the next election… his time has come and gone a long, long time ago…

    July 4, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. welches, oregon

    Geezer and Gidget – that's the best one best! ROFLMAO!!!!!

    July 4, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Tom from Ohio

    Republicans are starting to realize that their "we have a whitish black guy on our side too" experiment is a failure.

    July 4, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    So McCain only now thinks Steele is a loser because he never heard of THE BUSH WARS? I knew Steele was a dope the first time he opened his mouth.

    July 4, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Chipster

    Flash News Item:
    Afghanistan is NOT our enemy! It is not our goal to "win" a war. Our victory is in making the Afghan government strong enough to prevent religious fanatics, like the Taliban, from taking control of their country.

    Steele is simply doing what the Republicans have been trying to do all along, rewrite history, and convince voters that Obama did the damage that was done by the previous Administration. He's preaching to the choir that wants to believe that Obama was born in Kenya, Iraq attacked us on 9/11, all Mexicans are drug mules, and Palin opposes earmarks. Informed people care about the truth, not just what feeds their paranoia.

    July 4, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Larry

    The Republicans are eating their own.

    Neither one of these guys has ever shown the backbone to stand up and tell the truth.

    July 4, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Kwesoe

    When Chairman Steele smokes that stuff, he spews out a lot of gabbage. At times he presents himself as a mole of the Democratic Party planted to defeat the Republican cause. Radiance!

    July 4, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. bob

    Steele will just spin it that "he was taken out of context". Neocons are doing everything they can to paint Democrates in a bad light, like calling the financial crisis and the bailouts Obama's doing while conveniently forgetting it all happen under HRH Bush II.

    If McCain and the ditz had gotten into power and they had done everything exactly as Obama has done, the republican spin machine would be calling it STRONG leadership on McCains part to bring the USA and the world out of the brink of financial disaster.

    July 4, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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