December 22nd, 2009
05:36 PM ET
8 years ago

Gibbs jumps on Steele report

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Gibbs quipped over a report Steele is making thousands of dollars off paid speeches."](CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs couldn't help but pounce on a Washington Times report Tuesday that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has received thousands of dollars in paid speeches since becoming chairman of the GOP.

While not delivering a formal response to the report, Gibbs sarcastically asked the White House press corps Tuesday how much Steele was paid to conduct the recent conference call in which Steele declared Democrats were "flipping the bird" at the American people with their health care bill.

Gibbs later returned to the subject when a reporter's cell phone interrupted the briefing, leading Gibbs to declare that if Steele was on the line it would cost $30,000 to answer the call.

Gibbs' comments come hours after the Washington Times reported Steele continues to garner between $10,000 to $15,000 in paid speeches across the country at "colleges, trade associations, and other groups."

Though the practice is not illegal according to the RNC's own polices, several former Republican Party chairmen are quoted in the article criticizing Steele, saying the chairmanship is a full time job in itself.

Gail Gitcho, an RNC spokeswoman, told CNN in a statement that the whole controversy is "silly."

"Many Democrat and Republican national chairmen have regularly received outside income," Gitcho said. "Michael Steele has been giving inspirational speeches based on his personal story long before he was elected RNC Chairman and will long after."

"Chairman Steele of course does not receive compensation for any speeches conducted in his duties as Chairman," she continued. "He is more than a full time Chairman, is in complete compliance with all RNC rules and regulations, and is wholly focused on growing the Republican Party."

Filed under: Michael Steele • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    why to go GIBBS slap them back in the dipstick face . democrates are starting to wake up and stand united against the liers and the party of NO! on evrything . times are changing and the republicans are on the run.. its wessel hunting season and we have a new weapon ( truth ) 🙂

    December 22, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. A. Goodwin

    Wow – RNC thinks when he rally's folks into a frenzy of hate, racism and fearmongering...that is considered "inspirational?"

    Steele is a complete puppet – the man has no inspiration.

    December 22, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Pete

    By by G-rand O-bstructionist P-arty. YOU voted against the troops and their 3.4% raise! YOU voted against our troops for political manouvering! YOU hate the troops and will not get away with that moronic move....who the heck advised your party to do that? I look forward to the ultimate demise of these business butt buddy constitution hating jerks.

    December 22, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Mike

    Personally, I don't think the press secretary should be involving himself with politics. Once in the White House you represent everyone so stick to the American people and not what republicans and democrats are doing in their spare time.

    December 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. mjm

    Gibbs was just amazed that someone could make money under this admin.

    Not to mention the income was reported to the IRS.....Democrats are shocked.

    December 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. MaryJo

    Traj, I love Gibbs, too. He is just perfect at his job and on top of that I love his sense of humor. Steele isn't worth mentioning.

    December 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. D.

    Making fun of legitimate opposition is no way to approach the serious issues... Clown as a spokesman is not working!

    December 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Country Club First

    Come on Robert, a guy's gotta make a buck! Palin's doing it, too. Proof you don't need a message to make a buck.

    December 22, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Jon Krieger

    What galls me is that liberals accuse us of being racist,when we disagree with Obozo,but yet when Steele said (Truthfully) that democrats are "flipping the bird" to the american people yesterday,out came all sorts of racist remarks like calling him the republicans "house n***er" and "uncle tom",etc.But that's the way it always is Liberals.You just can't trust them anymore!

    December 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. aware

    We all know the numbers are based on a hypothetical scenario so wipe the smirk off your truth twisting face Gibbs! 🙁

    December 22, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. JWR

    Michael Steele is totally incompetent and a sellout. He is not the true RNC chairman. Whoever backs down from a rodeo clown like Rush can only hold a chair in the outhouse!!!

    December 22, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Just the facts

    I suspect the Republicans are secretly very pleased Mr. Steele was defeated in his run for Maryland Senator. Who knows what sort of self serving financial operations he would have been involved in once he had access to Government money that could be employed for his own devious purposes?

    December 22, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. slp

    Robert Gibbs is like a kid on the playground who can't get along with anybody. He stamps his foot and says, "Well, my daddy can beat up your daddy!" I wish we had some grownups in our government.

    December 22, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. worriedmom

    Steele was right on it. Democrats have been giving us the finger. They could care less what we want only what their secret agenda is.
    Gibbs is such a jerk. He thinks he is a comedian but he is a pompous a$$
    Democrats are ruining this country with their outrageous spending, not reading bills, spend, spend, spend.
    Just remember you had your turn to prove yourselves not you will be out of majority in years to come!

    December 22, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. seabee

    Bah Humbug, Michael Steele.......put down the Democrats in one breath and take "slush" money on the side! Oh you religious right...... CB

    December 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. jrzshor

    wow, a poitician type charging to be heard. and this form obama's news guy.

    more wow, doesn't he have more pressing spin to spin.

    December 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Amazing

    Gibbs is nothing but a sarcastic clown...............I'm sure they could have found a better press secretary than him.

    December 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. meh

    Hmmm. Gibbs is a loser? Gibbs is the press sec. to the President of the United States and you're....? Somebody posting anonymous insults about him on the internet? Yeah, obviously you are the more successful person, here.

    Anyone else sick of the phrase "shoved down our throats"? It's almost like...oh, I don't know....people are being TOLD to use that phrase.

    December 22, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Jethro Bodine

    I'm shocked anyone would pay a plug nickel to hear the stunted, trying-too-too-hard, fake outdated hip-hop ravings of this sellout loser, but I can't knock his hustle.

    Get the loot, Mike. Even though I think you're a dork of the highest order, but even dorks gotta eat.

    December 22, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. mark

    Gibbs is a child...

    December 22, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. State of Tennessee

    Looks like all of the liberal racists are out in force today. Who really cares what "Baghdad Bob" Gibbs has to say? I bet Mr. Steele pays taxes on his income, unlike the many criminals inside of the Obama crime family. Stop bashing Michael Steele just because he is a great example for other African Americans.

    December 22, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Spiker715

    Michael Steele is a dumb as a rock. Like with Sarah Palin, when is the republican party going to wake up and realize that they are in a huge world of hurt with people like this running their party. Throw in Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity, average out the IQ and you would have something similar to that of a utility pole!

    December 22, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Bush's Favorite Things: Blanky, Bikey & Nappy

    The biggest problem being that no one is "inspired" by Steele, Ms. Gitcho ... That is, unless of course, they've undergone a frontal lobotomy. Go ahead waste your money on this token pinhead
    (Thanks to you, Blowhard O'Revilely).

    December 22, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. martin

    They're not 'flipping the bird', Mike. They're just indicating that they're '#1'. And you, Sir, are, and will be for a long, long time, '#2'.

    December 22, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. SY

    Inspirational speeches based on his personal story? What am I missing here?

    December 22, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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