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. Shari, NY

    Mr. Steele you have my utmost (bi-partisan) respect! Yes, it is up to the South Carolinians to have a say, but I also think that Gov. Sanford should use his common sense and conscience in guiding him towards a decision that would be in the best interest of the people he purports to serve.

    June 25, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Nick 27, So Cal

    @ GOP4Life

    The "liberal media" isn't keeping you down.. your party is keeping you down by not practicing what they preach. I am neither a democrat or a republican because labels are for jars and just create dividing lines between all American citizens. Steele is right in saying that the people who voted Sanford in must vote him out.. accountability for all!!

    June 25, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Connie Sturgeon

    To GOP 4life, just as Zion said , you don't need the liberal media's help your party is self destructing.It's called implosion.

    June 25, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Michele Westminster, CO

    Isn't Sanford one of the politicians that tried to impeach Prez Clinton.......LOL!!!

    June 25, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. KMAN

    Steele said elected officials are "held to a different standard"

    Yes, they are obviously held to a different standard than the rest of us ... since we'd all lose our jobs immediately if we lied to our staff and then remained out of touch for 5 days! The man is obviously lead by his "little head" more so than the one on top of his neck and doesn't have the judgment to hold any office.

    GOP4life needs to get one ... he's delusional if he thinks this has anything to do with a liberal media ... unless that's the name Stanford refers to his "little guy" by.

    June 25, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Sue

    Aah-the high and mighty repubs are at it again. Look at us with our family values-hmmm.....family values means running around on your wife and 4 SONS? A real family man this Sanford. Always find it interesting that everyone from the right was all over Clinton for what he did (and I was furious with him for what he did), but the repubs chastise him and then we find out that they are doing the same, or worse, and this is ok. Talk about a double standard. Now if Sanford had just been a true American (according to Sarah Palin), he would not have done this because he would not have been living in SC. You see, she is the one that determines who is a true American, just like W decided if you were a traitor to our country if you were against the war. I wish the repubs would just shut up--and keep screwing up (figuratively, not literally).

    June 25, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Sooooo-what's NEW

    "Slick Willy" did it ALL the time and when he finally got caught, went on
    World TV and lied about it. Lying, cheating, stealing and exm-affairs
    are what politics is ALL ABOUT nowadays. At the very least, Sanford & Son admited it and he should be no less vindicated than the rest of our failed elected leaders. After all, he wasn't stcking it to Barney
    Frankenberry was he? What a DISGRACE the election and political process has become in this country....not to be outdone of course by
    our judical and legal system as well. When you're a politician and attorney, you just lie your way out of everything.

    June 25, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. pam Eugene OR

    I feel the need to thank the Republicans for making this so easy for the Democrats. If it were not for the bible pounding accusations about everyone else this would/should be between Sanford and his wife. They set themselves up as the moral majority for all and keep falling off their pedestal.
    Steele made a accurate comment for once. This is up to the voters in SC.

    June 25, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Isn't Steele hilarious??? I think he is, LOL!! 🙂

    And good lord, do people really believe the media is keeping them down?? Down for what?? Nothing hasn't changed and if they are worried about the media, good lord...

    And for the record, I expect the people of S. Carolina to get him the heck out of there! What, what do you think?? It ain't no joke...

    June 25, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. sms29s

    i personally think he should be driven from office simply because of those horrendous emails we've now had to endure. Stone him.

    June 25, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. LuckyLady

    GOP4Life, liberals aren't trying to keep you or the GOP down. What happened to Sanford is what happens to most hypocrites. He did himself in. How about you and your party taking responsibility for your actions and stop blaming others?

    June 25, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Desert Lion

    So many politicians including governors, senators, members of congress and city mayors are either resigned or removed from public offices for the same kind of embarrassment. I believe Sanford should not be immune from this syndrome.

    June 25, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    wrong article but I don't care:

    @ Slowgun, who said "Hey Sniffit, where were you when the Republican party spent millions of tax payer's money investigating and then impeaching President Clinton over this kind of thig?"

    Yelling and screaming that it was irrelevant to his competence, performance and fitness to be POTUS. You see, I AM BEING CONSISTENT by saying the whole Sanford marital infidelity story is political refuse. Those who are saying "impeach him because he wanted Clinton impeached" are being just as hypocritical as Sanford, who said "family values yackity shmackity" and then went out and yackity shmackitied the wrong woman.

    And note: Clinton was not impeached...the GOP tried to but the Senate acquitted 55-45.

    June 25, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. John

    There you go Mr. Steele. One down and few more to go before 2012. I don't.tthink you have any more in your pool other than those old GOPers. " Good Luck " How about waiting till 2024 or beyond. Keep in your mind that they are mocking you..............

    June 25, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    Get a grip Mr Steele. The GOP is ruining itself. The "liberal media" has nothing to do with it.

    June 25, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Cromwell

    For once, I agree with Steele.
    It's up to the people of South Carolina to decide.
    In my opinion, Sanford is a phony bum, but I don't live in S.C.

    June 25, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Bill Sampson

    It's not "failed leadership", that is the problem in this case, Mr. Steele, it is hypocrisy. Politicians should not be viewed as moral leaders with respect to personal behavior. That is not their job and such expectations only create phony grandstanding. We have seen that over and over across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, your party has taken it upon itself to sell "values" (whatever that means) as part of its marketing agenda for the past 25 years because its economic policies, over the long run, do not naturally resonate with a clear majority of the American people. This cynical strategy has failed the country miserably. Get out of the personal morality business and learn how to just competently govern. We'll all be better off, including the GOP.

    June 25, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. rand

    Wow. I actually agree with what Steele says here.

    I find it interesting that the GOP exposed Sanford. Clearly an unpopular governor.

    June 25, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Independent_me

    The Republicans had no problems calling for the resignation of Mark Spitzer when he had his affair exposed last year! But when its one of their own, suddenly the rules change: they won't call for Sanford's resignation!

    God is punishing the Republican Party for their arrogance, hypocrisy and two-facedness!

    June 25, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. George Arlington, TX.

    Michael, put a leash on your republican, or send them to South America for a quickie.

    June 25, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. DT

    GOP come together, don't let the liberal media keep us down!

    Dont worry my friend, the "Liberal Media" doesnt have to do anything...you conservatives are shooting your own selves in the foot...so satisfying. Good luck with the next election...and you better start liking Obama doesnt look like he'll be going away anytime soon...

    June 25, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. catmom

    The liberal media? Right... How about you Republicans start to demand that your leaders accept responsibility for what they do. Republicans have been so eager for Democrats to take responsibilities for their transgressions but when it comes to Republicans it's the liberal media's fault or Bill Clinton's fault or Jimmy Carter's fault. My goodness, you all have so eagerly blamed President Obama for everything wrong with the country after only five months in office. Never asking Bush and Cheney to own up to their part in all of what is wrong with this country.

    Governor Sanford screwed up, He left his state vulnerable while he went off crying in Argentina with his lover. He left his children on Father's Day to be with his mistress. He was just plain selfish and he should do what he recommended others in the same situation to do, period..

    June 25, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. V

    Finnally , a sensible remark from Steele

    June 25, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Drew, FL

    Liberal Media keeping you down? Wake up and smell the hypocrisy. Sanford made his own bed. Let him resign in it.

    For all his talk of moral superiority, he apparently didn't have the rectitude to practice what he preached.

    The so-called liberal media isn't making GOP politicians implode. They are doing it themselves.

    Wake up people.

    June 25, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Pat Dunedin Fl

    Who cares what Michael Steele says the next thing you know, Fox
    the Cluster Channel will be Identifying him with the South
    Carolina Governor as a Democrat. Steele is irrelevent just
    like Palin of course he could play the victim. Maybe he could
    make up things like Palin for Attention . Both need the Truth
    Squad. and maybe so Mental Health Attention!!!!!!

    June 25, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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