July 4th, 2010
10:03 AM ET
12 years ago

McCain question's Steele's ability to lead RNC


In an interview that aired Sunday, Sen. John McCain said there was no excuse for RNC Chairman Michael Steele's recent comments about the war in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain sharply criticized Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Sunday, calling his comments on the war in Afghanistan "wildly inaccurate."

In an interview from Afghanistan broadcast on the ABC program "This Week," McCain, R-Arizona, said there was no excuse for Steele's statements that the war launched by former President George W. Bush was "of (President Barack) Obama's choosing" and may be unwinnable.

"I think that Mr. Steele is going to have to assess whether he can still lead the Republican Party as chairman of the Republican National Committee," said McCain, a veteran senator who was the Republican presidential candidate in 2008.

His criticism follows calls for Steele's resignation by Liz Cheney, a former State Department official and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol and former South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson, who finished second to Steele in the RNC chairman's race last year.

Steele has issued a statement on the matter, saying that Obama had shifted the war effort to Afghanistan since taking office in January 2009.

"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 in the statement.

Filed under: GOP • John McCain • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. PK California

    The GOP has to start repairing the damage their choices have made. Their spokes people haven't got any idea of what's wrong with the country! Their spokesperson, Sarah Palin, followed by Lynn Cheney, and their party leader, Steele, are empty headed loud mouths who like to see their names in print! It's so easy to pick a topic, any topic, that our president is trying to fix, yesterday, and throw stones. Do you really think they have anyone who could do any better? Tell us! Tell us how YOU woud fix, unemployment, healthcare, 2 wars, the economy, Wall St., etc. NO. There's no one who could address these issues because they're too busy criticising rather than trying to cooperate with doable suggestions. Have they no clue that if they did try to cooperate, they just may get more votes! The new senator from Mass. voted with Obama and both parties LOVE HIM! The US wants cooperation not criticism and they don;t agree with the party of NO!!!

    July 4, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. Wade

    I also question McCains ability to lead McCain into doing the right thing. Talk about a person with a 2 headed coin in his pocket!

    July 4, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. joel palmer

    I call on every progressive, liberal, democrat to write in support of Michael Steele; with unemployment at record highs, we can't afford one more guy looking for a job.

    Oh yeah, and he and Mrs Palin are doing more to re-elect President Obama than the rest of us combined!!

    July 4, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Kevin

    And why do we care what Mcain thinks??

    July 4, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Don in Kansas

    Let's just be blunt about all of this. In 2009, the RNC picked Michael Steele because they could use him as some sort of counter-balance to President Obama, not because of his talents or abilities. In short, they picked up because he was African-American, nothing more, nothing less. Their pandering politics has bit them in the rear!

    July 4, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. George

    Steele can't lead the RNC? Well, he must not be conservative enough for the jack booted right wing, so who is gonna take over? Mussolini himself? Gonna dig him up and prop him up to show strength and leadership? Like the current RNC, il Duce was no more than a sawdust Caesar.

    July 4, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Tom

    As we all know from reading political nonsense over the years, all he has to do is repeat the lie many many many times, and it becomes the truth. That's the way it works . . . right?

    July 4, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. George

    What a bunch of cannibals this GOP has become.

    July 4, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. frank

    Maybe Sen McCain, thinks palin or Gov. Brewer can do a better job if that what he has in mind, after all he also turned down unemployment benefits and im sure he has an explanation for that also,i don't know what he is destined for but i assume not the senate with his dispicable and bizarre record.

    July 4, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    This is so typical of Republicans. Repeat a lie enough and with the help of the media it becomes fact. They're even rewriting this history of this great nation down in Texas. Michael Steel isn't an idiot. He knows what he's doing. Heck, its worked before. Over and over again.

    July 4, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. bettyboop33

    Blind leading the blind.

    July 4, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Rick

    Steele and Sarah Palin was planted by the Democrats to create havoc within the GOP... Brilliant !!

    July 4, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    I guess McCain finally wet his finger, stuck it in the air, and figured out what side to come down on.

    The GOP is so full of opportunistic creeps, willing to sell our country and each other down the river, in their bid to regain power.

    Only a fool would vote for these yahoos!

    July 4, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Jack Kegley: While what you say may be true, it is far too subtle a point for the current GOP to make.

    The GOP today is all about spending every waking moment trying to make President Obama and our country fail. They do not care about the truth; all they want is to make things so bad for average Americans that they'll somehow develop amnesia for the tried-and-failed policies of the GOP and, out of fear, go running back to the very group of people who put our country in this mess in the first place!

    Don't hold your breath ... Americans are smarter than that (thank goodness!).

    July 4, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Jermiah

    It is amazing how stupid people are. McCain and Steele are running neck-and-neck. Steele is not the first republican to tell a lie. Hell, McCain lies all the time. What about Cheney, Boehner, McConnell, Palin, Limbaugh. Hatred and ignorance is going to be the downfall of Americans across the nation, especially southerners. The Republicans do not care about the little guy or the middle income family. They are laughing all the way to the bank while little people like us who respond to CNN's blog. One would have to be brain dead to support any republican.

    July 4, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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