June 25th, 2009
02:05 PM ET
14 years ago

Steele on Sanford: 'Here we go again'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/13/republicans.family.feud/art.michaelsteelemd.gi.jpg caption="RNC Chairman Michael Steele sounded off Thursday on Mark Sanford’s announcement yesterday that he was having an extramarital affair."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called Gov. Mark Sanford's extramarital affair "one more disappointment in failed leadership," but said it's up the people of South Carolina to decide whether or not the embattled lawmaker should resign.

"My view on it is, here we go again, you have one more disappointment in failed leadership," Steele said in an interview with Detroit radio station WWJ on Thursday.

Steele said elected officials are "held to a different standard" and that they need to "behave themselves." He wouldn't say whether he thinks Sanford should step down, but he said that he believes the decision is ultimately up to the people of South Carolina.

"The Republican Party didn't elect Sanford, the people of South Carolina did, and they'll be the ones to decide whether or not he stays or goes," Steele said. "It's their vote that put him in power, so it will be their call for his resignation that will remove him, or their call to say that he can stay that will keep him there."

Filed under: Mark Sanford • Michael Steele
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. The black spider

    Well at list he makes sense on this one. This is not a party issue but a personal issue.
    Democrats often resign from office but the "high family moral values" party member hold on to their job.

    June 25, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Keith A Sillsbury

    Double standard once again. Bill Clinton was still favored by the people and the gNOp wanted him out so they started the impeachment proccess, but now for the SC and Navada govs ITs up to the people? OK .. the people want them out so start the proccess!

    June 25, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Bill

    Why is it that when a Republican is caught having an affair – it's Politicians are held to a different standard!!! Republicans have routinely stated over the last 8 or more years – same sex marriage is against the sanctity of marriage – yet more and more are caught comitting adultry – should they be held to a different standard as long as their reasoning for such is touted by them???

    June 25, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. jm for sc

    If the Republican Party did not elect Sanford; who did?

    June 25, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. John Murphy

    Yet he only seems to address the affair, not the hypocrisy of Sanford's hyper-moral stands.

    June 25, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Robin

    He should resign because he used tax dollars to carry on this affair.

    June 25, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Fitz

    He's only saying that because Sanford is a Republican. Had it been a Democrat the story would have been different so don't give him too much credit. Sanford's wife is taking him back so just like she helped his career long ago, she is going to save his butt now. She has already started with the "he deserves a second chance" line so SC will stand behind their 1st lady and give him a second chance. Played liek a champ

    June 25, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Tony - DC

    GOP4Life – It wasn't the liberal media that disappeared and then reappeared from Argentina. It wasn't the liberal media that lied to the public about the governors whereabouts. It wasn't the liberal media that didn't take their marriage vows seriously. And, it wasn't the liberal media that let their desire for a more exotic sex partner get in the way of governing the great state of South of Carolina.

    June 25, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. David

    OMG........This is the first press comment from Steele about a republican failure that he didn't blame Democrats or President Obama for.

    I am sure his 'handlers' will correct him and at least have him 'attack' the liberal media as FOX News has instructed them to do. It seems he did not read his daily talking points before speaking. Heads will roll.

    How can a republican be responsible for his/her own actions. It's just not possible. Has the world gone mad????

    June 25, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Angie in PA

    Finally the man is making some sense hes right the people of SC Put him in there its up to them!

    June 25, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Jason

    Get rid of Steele and Sanford. And while we're at it, get rid of McConnell, Boehner, and that other idiot Cantor.

    June 25, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Dixon

    I in no way support Steele or Sanford on issues. However, I have to say I do agree with Steele here. Let the people of SC and his family decides his future. I keep reading the comparison between Sanford and Clinton. Totally different issues. Clinton was not taken to task for the affair he lied to us about under oath. I like what Clinton did for our country, but I am angry that he lied under oath. On the other hand, why he was even asked that question under oath is a mystery to me. I would like to see all politicians hauled in and asked under oath if they ever had an affair, or lied. Who would be left to run the country? Sanford had an affair, but he never lied to anyone in congress under oath. He turns out to be just another hypocrite like many politicians.

    June 25, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I cant wait for 2013 – Its time for Change...again

    June 25, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Dave

    Once again, we have the Republicans whining about the media. You people love to talk about personal responsibility, yet when you get in a bind, who do you blame? It's kind of like when you people crow about family values and then get caught, oh, nevermind...

    Being a resident of Maryland and remembering well the tenure of Steele as Lt. Governor, I can surely relate to his statement of "one more disappointment in failed leadership."

    June 25, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Daisy

    @ GOP4Life

    It's not that pesky liberal media that's keeping you down. It's the fact that you are part of a party that tries to shove the "morally correct" thing down everyone's throats while not following it yourselves.

    I promise, if you drop the holier than thou facade you representatives' affairs would be of no importance.

    June 25, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. cm

    The hypocrisy is the problem with Republican Party; they don’t practice what they preach that’s all.
    They close the eyes, look the other way and justify what they do against the “Family Values” they suppose to uphold; like Palin justifying the irresponsibility of her teenage daughter Bristol getting pregnant at 17th, what they say now is as long as she kept the baby that is fine. All this extra marital affairs and scandals make me really sick ,not because the rest of the people are perfect but because they (GOP) have the nerve to criticize when they are running in a platform of double standard.
    GOP if you want to clean your neighbor house I think you need to star by cleaning your own first.

    June 25, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Florida Joe

    Not running around on your wife and leaving your sons on Father's day is not a "higher standard" it should be THE STANDARD

    Steele is right about one thing, this guy fooled the people of SC and THEY need to get rid of him.

    June 25, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. Common Sense 09

    I can't believe Steele actually said something that makes sense…Wow! He’s not as dumb as I thought he really is? lol

    June 25, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. ghost

    Why do I hear "Another one bites the dust" playing in the background?

    June 25, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. Gordon

    The Republicans will undoubtedly wear this "scandal?" as a badge
    of honor. Look at the positive side...this puts him in contention as
    THE primary presidential candidate and with all the blessings of the
    evangelicals or mormons. It's been proven that the values of Christ
    matter ONLY during an election to the Republicans.

    June 25, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Marg

    That's right...Here we go again...One more GOP hypocrite!

    June 25, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Shame On U

    I am utterly shocked at the Republican Party trying to sweep this unbelivable behavior, under the rug, and pretending this is just business as usual for them. Makes me wonder what the GOP really stands for these days . Between their health care stance and now this betrayal , not only of his family, his state, and the entire Republican party. They wish to have us think this is acceptable .
    The blame belong right where it should be.At the feet of a cheater, a person of low class character.!
    Admit he was wrong GOP, and stop passing the buck!

    June 25, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. The Unshrub

    It gets really old when conservatives such as GOP4Life and others try to blame the liberal media. It's time they grow up and accept responsibility for their own screw-ups. You are making sane people sick.

    June 25, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Th3rdpwr

    Why is it when Dems take a moral fall, Repubs always call for their removal (heck, they don't even have to have a fall; witness the Sotomayer situation), but when it's a conserv, well the people will decide. Sanford's own past words spell out what he (and Ensign) should do, Resign; Sp[itzer did it, and Edwards left the campaign. Why should these guys be any different?

    June 25, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Steven

    They aren't held to a different standard. They are held to the SAME standard and what these governors are doing is appalling in any sphere.

    June 25, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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