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

Steele on Sanford: 'Here we go again'

RNC Chairman Michael Steele sounded off Thursday on Mark Sanford’s announcement yesterday that he was having an extramarital affair.

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. Mike

    The people of South Carolina want him to take a hike for real this time.

    June 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Steve, Columbia SC

    Just to remind Mr. Steele, this infidelity is not an leadership failure exclusive to Republicans..............the sin of adultery crosses all boundaries..........political, race, economic, education, gender, nationality, faith, age, etc. even sexual orientation.

    June 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. NrewsHound

    Message to Steele: Get out NOW ...

    June 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Cheri

    Sorry...have to disagree with you "Shirley In California Now On The Fence Re Obama" . I live in SC and am sick of Sanford. There are many of us here who would love to see him go. Extramarital affair aside, my beef with him is leaving the country with no one knowing where he was. Even though some of the Republicans are not happy with him, they control the legislature here and I doubt they will have any proceedings to impeach him. And he is too pig-headed to resign. So while a good deal of the people here would like to see him resign, I don't think our representatives will do anything, and I know Sanford himself won't.

    June 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. We Love Sarah

    I can tell that the conversation here is going to get real stupid.

    Sanford needs to go. He has lost the trust of the people of SC when he lied like a rug over many occasions to protect the lie he told his wife and family.

    1) Misuse of government funds
    2) Misuse of government property
    3) Lying to government staff (his)
    4) Lying to government staff (state congress)
    5) AWOL on multiple occasions

    And you folks defend his actions!

    June 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Jane

    Mr Steel - It's a double standard because the far right GOP platform is based on high moral standards and are contantly touting it. Not walking the talk makes them Hypocrites – time for the GOP to focus on improving American's standard of living – not American standards for a change!!!!

    June 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. NewsHound

    Message to Steele: Get out NOW ... Forgot Add. IT IS GOING TO GET WHORSE.

    June 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. mtv

    Oh so this guy should not step down???? What is the difference for his affair and Bill Clintons affair? Both Cheated, Both Lied, but only 1 abandoned his office to go meet with the lady, yet Repubs jumped all over impeaching Bill Clinton who did not abandon his office.............But they have not said one word on one of their own stepping down.............what a bunch of Hypocrites.............and shame on the Media for now asking these same questions!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Ellie, MD

    FAILED LEADERSHIP is right. This seems to be the problem with folks like Sanford and Ensign. They BLASTED Clinton and demanded his impeachment and NOW they have the nerve to sing a different tune when the shoe is on the other foot!!!

    If this was the average guy working the 9-5 job he would have been FIRED!! End of Story. So WHY are these HYPOCRITES allowed a free pass on their "double-standard" hypocrisy.

    Grown men who LIE and CHEAT to their own wives and family will LIE about anything and everything else. Folks who think they won't are seriously delusional.

    June 25, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Tom In Millstadt

    Jeez!!!

    What is with the GOP. They should get rid of their symbol, the elephant and try something else. I don't know, maybe Humpty Dumpty.

    June 25, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. The GOP will self destruct in 5,4,3...

    The liberal media has absolutely nothing to do with this scandal. Sanford did this to himself, and all of the media outlets are covering the the story. He should have used the head on his shoulders...

    June 25, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. David

    This really would not be an issue if the GOP did hold themselves out to be so dang self righteous.

    It is a pity all the poor fools who bought into that in 2000 and got this country into the mess it is now.

    Thankfully there is no litmus test to be a Democrat. We welcome all whether we like them or not.

    "Judge not for ye too shall be judged"

    June 25, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Kenneth

    WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA?

    Do you mean the media that is ALL controlled by conglomerates owned by five white guys, all of whom supported Bush?

    The media may have turned yellow since the passng of E.R. Murrow, but it has seldom been blue.

    Grow up.

    June 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Minnesotan

    @GOP4Life June 25th, 2009 2:13 pm ET
    GOP come together, don't let the liberal media keep us down!
    ------------------------------
    Oh too funny! The liberal media??? Haaaaaaaahahahahhahahahahahahhahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha......eh ehm....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

    It is funny how the liberal media makes all these hypocrits do the stupid things they do. Especially the way they come after both the GOP and the Dem's.

    Gosh Darn that liberal media!

    June 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. ray

    who told michael steel he could speak?

    June 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Ant

    So Sanford comes on stage in front of the camera and crys then says he wronged his wife, his kids, his state, and is so sorry with tears in his eyes.

    I don't know about anyone else but I am getting sick and tried of the same old same old.

    June 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Phat Elvis

    That's about the smartest thing this guy has ever said since becoming GOP chair.

    No, wait– its the ONLY smart thing he's said....

    June 25, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. GG

    This guy has made many rediculous comments, but not this time.

    ... or maybe Steele is just another Republican who has something to hide from his wife haha. I kid, but seriously, there has been enough Republican hypocrisy that I wouldn't be surprised anymore.

    June 25, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. tee

    GOP4Life
    Its not the liberal media that keeping you down. Its your actions. You're only sorry, when you get caught.

    June 25, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. dave

    Sanford needs to go. He was AWOL. He jeopardized the well-being of the state.

    June 25, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Desiree Jordan

    If Sandford had 1 shred of "value" for himself, his wife, his sons or the people of SC- he would have resogned BEFORE he DID the press conference!

    June 25, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Nathan Garrett

    It's obvious to me, Sanford is going thru a mid-life crisis. My heart goes out to he and his family. A mid-life crisis knows no party affiliation. It's not about power, its deeper than that.

    Should he step down from the governorship? I think with the shock of his wife throwing him out and the public eye right now should be enough to bring him around.

    June 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Doug, New Jersey

    If you think that lying libs are right in saying that republicans are not the party of morals and values, then I suggest a visit to a blue area of this nation to learn about reality. As long as Democrats continue to act in the most savage, mean, selfish, with total disregard for human life as possible, the right gets to claim that it is the place where are all Americans who possess a trace of morals and values reside. Those who are void of morals and values are correctly labelled Democrats, blue and red area realities are undeniable. There is a reason why Democrats are atheists, you can't live knowing you will one day have to answer for your liberal Democratic actions before god.

    June 25, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Scotty Larsen

    NO, this is only his families issue. As a left liberal person, Holding someones morality as it relate to his family, not his job is unfair . So just do your job and leave your personal junk at the door. Thank you, Scotty

    June 25, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Grog in Ohio

    Things are truly squirrelly when Michael Steele sounds like a reasonable voice in the GOP. Shame Mr. Steele and the other Republicans weren't this reasonable during revelations of Bill Clinton's indiscretions.

    June 25, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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