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. Frank

    Can someone remind me what his response was to the Elliot Spitzer scandal?? This guy needs to resign. He went out of the country on tax payer money to sleep with another woman, but won't take tax payer money to help improve the school system in the state... And people wonder why the GOP is an after thought in politics

    June 25, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Lary Craig

    duh,the republiklans did elect him in the primaries

    June 25, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Post always rejected by CNN

    The republicans are constantly hollering about family values. It seems to me they have values and they are for the family. One thing for sure, Spitzer, show class and character as a democrat. When he had an affair he stepped down as governor. This piece of crap republican says he is not going to step down. See what a bunch of values. LOW CLASS LOW CHARACTER AND HIS VALUES SUCK.

    June 25, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. 25 year old, democrat and Obama supporter

    I feel bad for the GOP, I really do. We need a two party system to keep people in check. No w in regard to Sanford, or for that matter any state elected offical, I believe Steele is right and that it is the people of SC to do what they think is nesessary with Sanford

    June 25, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Dave

    another Family Values Conservative Republican hypocrite...stop the presses...yada yada yada
    looks like Sanford attended the Famly values classes taught by Gingrich, Livingston, Ensign, Craig, Foley etc etc

    June 25, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Dude

    You can't blame the media for this. It was nothing but pure hypocrisy from a 'holier than thou' republican (not to be confused with legitimate republicans). Real republicans should be more outraged by this than anyone else. He is further damaging your party's reputation.

    June 25, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Lynn

    Always passing the buck Michael Steele...didn't the Republicans support him in his run for Governor; wasn't he being pushed by some as a Presidential candidate?

    That said, the media is way over the top on this; always controversy creating and character assassination. Why can"t everyone settle down, leave the emails private and wait and see if he used gov't funds to fund his trips?

    June 25, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. John

    What pray tell does the potential bias of the media have to do with this story? The facts are clear, and guilt has already been ackowledged. Steele's observations seem spot on. So how did the media mess this one up for the GOP?

    June 25, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. katiec

    GOP, do not think it was the media who projected a holier than thou attitude, hiding hypocrasy and sin behind the bible.
    You cannot blame the media for this.

    June 25, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. annie s

    Will you please knock it off with this "liberal media" nonsense. The media did not ruin the Republican Party – it ruined itself by its inability to change with the times, its fear mongering, rigid morality and lack of understanding of the needs of Americans.

    June 25, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Steele is a Democrat in GOP clothing

    A careful and thorough review of Steele's comments to the press since being put in front of the GOP undersocres a frightening pattern. Steele has been negative in the press more often against other Republicans than Democrats. Steele is the perfect Democratic foil and the GOP ought to toss im out if he cannot promote the positives of the GOP rather than state the obvious whenever there is a scandal

    June 25, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. don

    I left the Republicans and moved to a party that REALLY stands for conservative and constitutional values – the Constitution party.

    If you actually believe the Republican party cares any more about right vs. wrong than the dems do – well, then you're just insane. How many times do they have to show you different.

    June 25, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Frank, Las Vegas

    It would have been nice if Steele had come out and said that Ensign and Sanford should immediately resign, like he would have done if they were democrats. But of course he didn't that which just furthers the obvious problems of the GOP's family values talking points, they are Hypocrites! I haven't heard any of the GOP call for Ensign or Sanford to resign. Why not?

    June 25, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. carlo

    Wow. Steele just said something and it was coherent!

    June 25, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. LacrosseMom

    @ GOP4Life......... Its not the "liberal media" keeping you down, my friend, ITS the GOP!

    No new ideas

    No new solutions


    Hate-entertainers: Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter....... etc., etc.

    Obstructionists politics

    We, Americans, are fair people, but we detest the politics of hate, lies, fear and division. As long as the GOP continues its vitriolic ways, this Independent will continue to vote........ BLUE!

    June 25, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Carl Justus

    Sanford should face some kind of punishment for his inability to keep his zipper up and stay within the state or transfer leadership to the Lt. Governor. A governor does not have any business leaving the state without being able to be reached.

    I firmly believe he should be impeached, but not removed from office. South Carolina's Lt. Governor is not capable of running the state or even a little league baseball team. He has not grown up and needs to mature before he is given any power.

    He has been caught driving a 100 miles per hour on I-26, but not ticketed. That is a shame they would let him go. He even bragged about being a fast driver and the police of SC does nothing but turn their heads. He is a danger for anyone on the road when he is behind the wheel.

    June 25, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. Finally, something that makes sense coming from Michael Steele!

    as a liberal, you were making too easy for us

    if Michael Steele can finally show some restraint and class he may be able to pull you through

    otherwise, please run Palin in the next election, har har har

    June 25, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. Bigredyeti

    Would someone help me out here? I'm trying to understand what "liberal" media is. Would someone give me an example of how "conservative" media would have handled Gov Sanford?

    June 25, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Tracy

    Gov. Sanford – don't worry .... we will soon hear about another elected idiot caught in the same web of cheating or doing some other corrupt activity (and your story will move off the front page).

    June 25, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Mushmouth speaking sense? Someone pinch me...

    June 25, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Alex in Wisconsin

    Another Priceless quote from the RNC Chair....I assume of course he got permission to speak his mind from Emperor Rush Limbaugh.

    June 25, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    Steele is 100% right.. The GOP leadership (as a whole and especially as individuals) has some serious soul searching to do! The people of SC will decide Sanford's fate! His biggest concern is making things right with his God and with his family! Politics should no longer be the driving factor!

    June 25, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. Cali Mike

    "liberal media, liberal media, liberal media, blah, blah, blah"

    how about living up to all that crap you push down everyone else's throats like sanctity of marriage and pro-life (warmongers) and fiscal responsibility ($2 trillion war and corporate welfare)

    June 25, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Republicans need to get their house in order......literally.

    June 25, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Ken in NC

    @ GOP4Life......................

    It is not the liberal media that is keeping you down. The GOP is doing a fine job of that all by itself. It's almost as if the GOP is playing Russian Roulette with 6 bullets in a six-shooter.

    June 25, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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