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. unemployed by Obama and cannot find work

    Gibbs is a spoiled eight year old BRAT.

    Try Fining Me, I Wont Pay, Gibbs send the obamacare SS Troopers because I WONT PAY for unconstitutional forced healthcare.

    December 22, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. In the West

    Suck the system dry for every dollar you can. Steele follows the REAL Republican philosophy to a "T".

    December 22, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Fitz in Texas

    I hope this administration never fires Gibbs. The guy is so clueless and he's great for a laugh.

    December 22, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    If a Dem. messes up, it's a mortal sin. If a Rep. screws up, it's an "error of judgment".

    December 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. walleye

    If all the GOP trailer park crowds want to fork over 10K to listen to LIES and trash who am I to care.

    December 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Jim

    I have little or no respect for Mr. Steele. I would not pay anthing to hear him speak andwhere! His "inspirational speeches based on his personal story" do not inspire me at all. He has betrayed his conscience and become a Republican hatchet man, mouthing such lying phrases as "flibbing the bird."

    December 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |

    Steele = the TOKEN Black man in the Rethuglican Party of NO.


    December 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Henry

    Sooner or later the American people will realize that it's not Obama who has issues, it's the people he is surrounded by. They all need to be replaced, voted out, or fired.

    December 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. jp,michigan

    Mr. Gibbs is also a product of the same Chicago elite that has ownership to President Obama, Emmanuel, Axlerod and so on. Pay to play , the Chicago way. So take a good look at yourselves before talking about what other do or say. No transparency and the only way is the Chicago way or the highway! The goal of the democratic party on the hill is brute force and payback behind closed doors.

    December 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Jeff

    If Republicans believe they must have a black man as head of the RNC,
    surely there are other candidates that this "pay for play" loudmouth whose rhetoric is always in the gutter.

    Do American children really need to be exposed to this guy's profanity?

    So much for family values.

    December 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. normajean

    Good for Gibbs... That loony Steele has no business even commenting on what anyone else does or says. He is forever putting both feet in his mouth.

    December 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Jim

    I think Robert Gibbs has highlighted the problem. Neither side cares about doing the right thing. We are now over 13,000,000,000,000 in debt.

    December 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. naomi

    Sorry, but I would rather have white house reps who do not engage in such behavior but instead acts professionally....

    December 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Scary party

    Being head of the RNC has never been a full-time job for Steele. Full-time joke maybe, but job – never.

    December 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Joe

    Girls! Girls! Play nice now.

    December 22, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Perusing-through

    GIBBS, , ,
    U – B – Da' – MAN 🙂

    I love it when the feisty Alabama born Gibbs takes a bite out of Micheal Steele. It just makes my day. 🙂

    December 22, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Carole

    Robert Gibbs has a smart mouth. I'm no Steele fan but RG needs to grow up and act like an adult at a news conference. RG is supposed to be intelligent. Why does he feel he needs to get on Steele's level?
    Hey, RG, the biggest put down is "I won't dignify that with a comment."
    It'll make you look better and you need all the help you can get.

    December 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. DianeR PCFL

    is in complete compliance with all RNC rules and regulations, and is wholly focused on growing the Republican Party." . . .

    Which tells me that the RNC rules and regulations are predicated on graft, greed and corruption. And that growing the Regressives Perverted Party means slurping up as much corporatists' money as possible to stupify the ignorant and illiterate with low-brow political tactics.

    December 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Steeles Innerthoughts

    You want me to bash the healthcare bill? Cha-ching, cha-ching!
    You want me to bash Obama? Cha-ching, cha-ching!
    I'll bash whoever you want, just show me the money!

    December 22, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Minnesotan

    Steele is pathetic, just like the rest of these amoral crooks who pray for people to continually suffer health issues. On a side note, congratulations to the Republicans for sponsoring the "Worst Decade Ever" for the Stock Market, according to the Wall Street Journal. You've now proven that your "Trickle Down" ideas are pure manure and yet another Epic Failure.

    December 22, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. sensible Cape Coral FL

    After having taught Civics for many years I am totally disgusted with the direction our Congressional leaders are taking. I am delighted that I am retired and do not have to explain this stupidity to my students.

    December 22, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. lucy2

    Steele continues to prove himself an embarrassment. If the GOP manages to come up with a good point, argument, or comment, we'll never know because this guy can't do anything without making a mess of it.

    December 22, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Darren

    Why would anyone pay to hear Steele's nonsensical Republican propoganda when they can tune in to Rush Limbaugh or FOX News and hear endless nonsensical Republican propoganda for free?

    December 22, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Andrew Mutabeli

    You DEMO'S are acting like uncivilized barberic stone-age people. Some of your DEMO senators are acting studity over this healthcare bill – Why because they are primitive and can't even read the 2,000 pages bill.

    Steele is a hardworking African American and a good citizen who love his family and this country. Unlike Gibbs and Obamaniac don't really care what is in that bill. All Obama and his CRONES care is power and prestiges.

    Let me assure the DEMOS are going to lose BIGG in the next 2010 election. Obama's power will be diminished to nothing. He was luck to be elected because of the tact he used of RACE-CARD. In plain language – he was elected because of his race. He promised change and he has failed to deliver that change. Instead, he introduced to us the CHICAGO WAY OF BRIBELY. It is bribe your way through in order to achieve what you want. That is Chicago politics.

    I am a black person and voted for Obama. Now, after taking another look at his policy, I feel like vomiting and regret my vote for him. Plainly- he lied and I feel ashamed for what he is doing with our helthcare system.

    Therefore, Mr. Steele is a better man than Gibbs and Obama. Steele is a man of principle than the two. Having said that – the Republicans will DESERVE A BIG COME-BACK AND PREVENT HUSSEIN OBAM FROM FURTHER DAMAGE OF OUR COUNTRY. Obama is a master of MANIPULATOR and he must be stopped.

    I am a proud Black American Citizen and want all the Democrats out of congress and the senators. 2010 is the year of Hope for America – Right now America is held hsotage by Liberal medias, Obama and the Democrats senate and congress.

    December 22, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Dennis in AZ

    Robert Gibbs jumping? Excellent headline for a non-news event. As hard as I tried to imagine that? Don't see it happening. Harry Reid pays off half the Senate with American tax dollars so he can steal even more money from Americans, just so he can get paid by special interests–but that story hardly gets a blink. A media-inflated personality conflict between two non-decision makers is the story? Really? Really? Did one of them brandish a firearm or something? Something?

    December 22, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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