June 10th, 2009
10:45 AM ET
13 years ago

Steele: Limbaugh, Gingrich, Cheney not getting in the way

(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele brushed aside suggestions fellow Republicans Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Dick Cheney are hampering his efforts to put a new face on the party.

"I'm here. And they're not," Steele told CNN's Campbell Brown Tuesday. "So it's not a question of whose face is where, it's the fact we've got a very broad party. Everybody has a role to play. They're playing their roles they have their constituent groups they talk to."

The comments came hours before a new poll released Wednesday morning showed more than half of Americans could not identify who speaks for the Republican Party. In the same poll, 13 percent said Limbaugh was the most prominent GOP speaker while only one percent identified Steele.

But in the interview Tuesday, Steele beat back the notion Limbaugh is the current leader of the Republican Party.

"The media likes to play up the Rush Limbaugh angle and the Newt Gingrich and some of the other folks, that's fine," he said. "But the reality for me is working the grounds, working with state party organizations, and trying to set a tone that transcends what may appear on the news every night, but actually touches voters, reaches them and have them understand exactly what our position is on any given issue."


Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Leaderless Rudderless GOP will remain in EXILE for years to come until they decide on a leader. That will not be before 2012!!!

    June 10, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Leah

    Campbell Brown let Steele babble on while he did not answer her questions. It was not an interview but a speech by Steele.

    Well said Ron from Canada.

    June 10, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Dennis

    They're not getting in his way, they're telling him which way to go!

    June 10, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Dawn in Pa

    yeah someone here has some brains in there head, My hats off to you God don't like ugly.... Well said....

    June 10, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. John M in NoHo CA

    It's about time the GOP had dissonant internal voices. I'm sick of their "get-in-step, don't you dare contradict us" army mentality that Tom Delay fomented.

    June 10, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. donttreadonme

    Gingrich is a viable candidate and was a major force during the 90’s. He is smart, educated and articulate…you libs should love that.

    June 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. RealityKing

    No question about whose speaking for the dems..., Obama's teleprompter

    June 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Shawn _ Ga

    2010 the people will send a message. The same people who were against Obama, with the addition of those who realize they were fooled by Obama will have their voices heard.

    Those of us not looking for a handout, in addition to those of us who thought they would get one and are seeing that was never going to happen will have their voices heard…

    Those of us who knew that Obama would not come through with his promises just as he did to the people of IL, in addition to those who now have their eyes open as they see this administration saying that they "over stated" and were "overly optimistic" will have their voices heard.

    the list goes on and on…. weather people vote Dem. Ind. or Rep. One thing is for sure never again will a majority fall for the no substance big wishes and promises campaigning again.

    2012 is too far away to make any guesses of intelligence… this Administration may come around and actually try to help people… or 2012 will be very interesting.

    Please note that I made no hurtful or snide remarks... let us please try to be civil here....

    June 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Ken

    I assume Steele's comments were vetted by Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Dick Cheney........otherwise he's in for another round of entertaining public spankings by his [R] puppetmasters. I think all the people who used to watch all those mindless soap operas are now turning to FoxNews to waste their time and minds on the drama within the [R] party. Afterall we have all these male idiots tramping on each other daily to be the first to put on their bra and pantyhose so they can be the drama queen of the day.

    June 10, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. donttreadonme

    Unlike you libs the Republicans do not need a sigle mouth piece or a CZAR to lead the party.

    All hail Obama!

    June 10, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Neutralizer

    Outside of the internet, where real people live and eking out for a living or trying to stay in their job, the GOP is gaining strength with the common people; while the Democrats are gaining anger and vindictives from the people. I've never seen anything like this for 50 years born and raised in this country.

    There's change in the air, the said change is against the Democratic Party; even hardcore democrats in my city have nothing but vindictive words against their own party.

    I think the GOP is doing a fantastic job, the people are going back to the core, the US Constitution. BTW, I live in a very radical state, where people's mantra "I am progressive" but now they realize their progressiveness is affecting their way of living, food on their table – they don't like it.

    June 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Leoanrd

    Steelle. Is a spinless man. He talks big one day and the GOP takes him the room and straighten him out. The next day he sounding like a puppet. He just holding the office conteract being President.. If you can not see that then do not know what to say.

    June 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Bob in Pa

    That's right ! Everyone has opinions and ideas and they are all welcome at the table. Unlike the lock-step dems with the one-size fits all mentality.

    June 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    "They are not getting in the way, because there is NOTHING in this party in which they can get in the way!

    June 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Lisa in FL

    OK folks. Here it is in a nutshell:

    Michael Steele = GOP's Barack Obama (so THEY think)

    Sarah Palin = GOP's Hillary Clinton (so THEY think)

    They are so envious of Obama and his "celebrity" around the world, it is eating them from the inside out! Doesn't get much better than this. I've been wating 8 years to watch this specticle.....and other than Bush/Cheney putting our great nation in ruins...it was worth it!

    June 10, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Donna from Colorado Springs

    He may be chairman of the GOP, but he certainly isn't in charge of anything! He has to cowtow to Limbaugh and the rest of the Republican idiots and must apologize for anything he says that might offend them! Whoever told him that he is the boss really needs to inform the rest of the know-it-alls over there! They are such a pathetic bunch of losers!

    June 10, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Steele? Who is Steele? Didn't he get the memo? Nobody knows who he is, or what party is he from. Everyone thinks Limbaugh or Cheney are the real face of the GOP. Steele is even more pathetic than Palin!

    June 10, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Michael Steele would like to believe that he is the leader of the Republican party.
    Well, look behind you Mr. Steele. There is nobody following you.
    And if you look in front of you, you will see Bouncing Boss Limbaugh's butt and the scenary isn't going to change anytime soon.

    June 10, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Peter E

    'Very broad party?' Would Steele like to explain that to Cheney, or Limbaugh who have each repeatedly tried to throw Colin Powell out of the party? Or would Steele like to explain it to himself first, since after every single one of his own comments he immediately rushes to apaologize to Limbaugh for having offended the GOP's true leader?

    June 10, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Peter

    Everyone has a right to say something, believe me I do think thats right. But all Limbaugh and Cheney do is spread hate, which they spread onto others of all people, Democrat, Republican, or Independent. They say something, you agree and get angry or you despise it

    June 10, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. SlowGun

    "it's the fact we've got a very broad party. "

    Did Steele actually say this? He thinks the republican party is broad?!

    June 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. DudlyDooright

    The Republicans allowed Bush to ruin this Country financially and start an aggressive war without any truth to the justification. It will take a major makeover for the Republicians to even survive.
    The Democrats are no better. They have been practicing a philosiphy of give away for more than a decade, giving America away to all comers without so much as a shout or shot.
    What hope do we have?

    June 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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