July 3rd, 2010
12:02 PM ET
11 years ago

Liz Cheney calls for Steele's resignation

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/03/art.steelernc.gi.jpg caption="RNC Chairman Michael Steele is facing another call to resign."]Washington (CNN) – Another prominent conservative is asking Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to resign, calling his comments on the war in Afghanistan "deeply disappointing and wrong."

Liz Cheney, a former State Department official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said in a statement released Saturday that Steele must go.

"RNC Chairman Michael Steele's comments about the war in Afghanistan were deeply disappointing and wrong," Cheney said. "The chairman of the Republican party must be unwavering in his support for American victory in the war on terror – a victory that cannot be accomplished if we do not prevail in Afghanistan. I endorse fully Bill Kristol's letter to Chairman Steele. It is time for Chairman Steele to step down."

Cheney, a founding member of Keep America Safe, a conservative advocacy group focused on national security and foreign policy issues, is not the first to call for Steele's resignation. On Friday, influential conservative and editor of the Weekly Standard William Kristol called on Steele to step down.

Kristol was joined by former South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, who finished second to Michael Steele in the Republican National Committee chairman's race last year, and also called on the committee to oust their embattled chairman.

The controversy was sparked by Steele's comments made at a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut Thursday. A YouTube video shows the RNC chairman declaring of the war in Afghanistan, "This was a war of Obama's choosing."

"This is not something the United States actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in," he added.

That statement is at odds with the fact the United States led a NATO coalition with overwhelming public support to invade Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Steele also appeared to suggest any conflict in Afghanistan may be unwinnable.

On Friday, the RNC defended Steele.

"The Chairman clearly supports our troops but believes that success of the war effort in Afghanistan requires the ongoing support of the American people," RNC Communications Director Doug Heye said.

And late Friday afternoon, Steele issued his own statement on the matter, saying that "During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama made clear his belief that we should not fight in Iraq, but instead concentrate on Afghanistan. Now, as President, he has indeed shifted his focus to this region. That means this is his strategy. And, for the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war," Steele said.

"As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one. That is why I supported the decision to increase our troop force and, like the entire United States Senate, I support General Petraeus' confirmation. The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan."

-CNN's Alexander Mooney, Peter Hamby and Sarah Baker contributed to this report

Filed under: GOP • Liz Cheney • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. Brian Dodge

    "This is not something the United States actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in..."


    He's speaking a partial truth; Bush and the GObP administration was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq, where the oil is, not Afghanistan. It took a web of lies about Saddam Hussein's ties to Osama bin Laden and nonexistant WMD's to get the troops into Iraq.

    Afghanistan isn't Obama's war, but Osama's – but Republicans have moved so far to the right that they are too far away from the mainstream to tell the difference.

    July 3, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Doraine Gordon

    Who cares what Liz Cheney has to say about anything? Steele won't step down from anything. Why should he? He has it made. As fast as the RNC collects donations Steele spends it. As far as the wars go, Cheney and Bush are responsible for both of them. Both unpaid for, yet the GOP never hollers about that. They are too busy stopping unemployment benefits. They should be ashamed. I bet their Mothers are really proud of all of them. As far as Liz Cheney is concerned, she and her old Dad need to stay home with their mouths shut!!! like h

    July 3, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Richard-Missouri

    Lez Cheney should STFU. I think Michael Steele meant that in the hands of Obama and a lib Congress, the war in Afghanistan is lost. I agree. These people have no desire to win. Their main desire is to say "We can not win this war, and we need to cut our losses and leave". Then they'll say that Bush got us into a war we could not win, and our retreat was necessary. However, that would be the ultimate lie. The war could be won, but Obama and the libs must turn loose the dog of war, and quit tying the hands of the military. Let them go in and kick butt – no rules or regulations, just out and out fighting. Force is all the Afghans and the like understand, so we need to use it and earn their fear AND respect.

    July 3, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. markiejoe

    Liz Cheney needs to keep her pie hold closed.

    July 3, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Rich

    The Republican party is dead. It was a suicide.

    A political party that is four months away from sweeping back into power does not replace its leader. The Beltway conventional "wisdom" is completely wrong.

    The Republican party will lose seats in both the House and the Senate this Fall.

    July 3, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Jim In Miami

    Liz Cheney is one of the few people on earth who I take less seriously than Michael Steele.....

    July 3, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Aaron

    Michael Steele is finished in politics. As with Clarence Thomas, the black community has no connection with Steele. Now, as predicted, the Republican Party, a aprty that has systematically done evrything it can to show that it is really the "Whites Only" party, has turned on Steele. That is hilarious to me. He is getting exactly what he deserves. This party is self-emploding and I love it. The Tea Party is the best thing that ever happened to the Democrats. It has exposed the rampant, but hidden racism that has always been a part of this party. Michael Steele is a racist himself. Just one thing. He forgot he was black. Steele reminds me of that old Dave Chapelle sketch in which he portrayed this blind old black gentleman in the south. He was always told he was white. So he joined the klan and wrote many books on race hate. His handlers never let hime take his Klan robe off in public so he would not be found out. Until, one speech he gave, he got so into it that he removed his Klan hood, exposing to others that he was really a black man who they elected head of their organization. They kicked him out. The funny part was, he later divorced his own wife. Why? Because she married a black man. Classic Chappelle. Steele...you are an IDIOT!!! Liz.... sorry to hear about your dads Heart problems. Ass can't get anything right can he?

    July 3, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Michael Steele gives affirmative action a bad name.

    July 3, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. S Allen

    I think we should send all Republicans to Afghanistan. Let them gnaw on the fresh meat of a war on terror.

    July 3, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. pkb

    So Michael Steele is a ditz and he should resign? Well, why not demand most of the GOPers resign? After watching Sen Lindsay Graham at the Kagan confirmation hearing, I would say intelligence is a rare commodity among most GOP politicians and when they get in front of a camera, it is so obvious.

    July 3, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. vic

    60 years back republican party care about minorities

    When ever group like tea party pop up RNC keep distance from minority to win the election that is sad

    RNC have very good policy but they don’t follow their policies when they pander to people like Palin for votes

    Big mistake if they ask Steele to resign

    July 3, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Dave

    Well the war is "unwinnable" in the sense that the Taliban will surrender due to battlefield losses and we can just bring the troops home. The best that can be hoped for is to contain and isolate them so that they can do no significant damage, in Afghanistan or elsewhere. This will not simply involve killing as many of them as possible, but somehow offering a viable alternative to their potential recruits. Tough sledding to be sure.

    July 3, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Phil Muse

    Michael Steele finally said a smart. percetive thing, and look what it got him! He shouldn't have cast his lot with the GOP in the first place. It's strictly a WASP party. When they have gotten all the use they are going to get from a minority person, they crumple him up and throw him away.

    July 3, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Dale

    Is Steele for real?

    July 3, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. AnProf

    Steele would do much better with scripted teleprompter remarks.
    Yeah, unfortunately he's become an unneeded distraction to the GOP.
    Liz Cheney is one sharp cookie–would she do this job???

    July 3, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Danny Cali

    Just say "NO" Michael Steele your is the Party of big "NO".

    July 3, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. cspurgeon

    They are all wackos. What a bunch. Makes you wish for term limits and other parties....

    July 3, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Tina in PA

    Yeh, she can go right with him. She lies on her fathers behave too much.

    July 3, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. MK

    I'm supposed to care what Liz tihnks? Her opinion is supposed to influence mine? Who is she???? What has she really done???? Other than being born into a political family and given a brief opportunity to have a State Dept job becuase of that connection, is she really a brain trust of knowledge? She's being a mouthpiece for those in the party who can't have their reputation tarnished by coming out against the egomaniac Party Committee Chairman. She can't even speak her own mind against most in the GOP against the very primary relationship in her life – her girlfriend.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't support or think Steele is much worth, but really, Liz is supposed to be who I listen to. Give me a break.

    July 3, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Mike in Montana

    I don't think that Michael Steele could even coach a little league baseball team, let alone the Republican Party. I think Liz Cheney is right on this one. Mike in Montana

    July 3, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Pro

    His Sarah Palin performance, especially their utterances shows Republicans have have no talents. Please do not insult the country.

    July 3, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. harley

    As if she has any credibility, Oh please, get over yourself, You are a betrayal to whom you are and the gay community. It is no wonder on why no one bought her book! The Republicans are now eating their own!

    July 3, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. jim atmadison

    The spawn of the undead has awakened. Be very afraid.

    July 3, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Stransky

    Yes, it is time for the only African American in the "No" party to leave....

    July 3, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Michelle

    Pleeeeese, Mr. Steele, do not resign or let them fire you from your post!! I think you're doing a GREAT job!! You' do waaay more for the Democrats than they can seem to do for themselves. Keep up the good work ... keep speaking your mind ... because that may be the only way we can retain a majority in both Chambers of Congress come November!! We need you, Mr. Steele!! Don't let us down!

    July 3, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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