July 8th, 2010
01:58 PM ET
12 years ago

Defiant Steele: 'Stop the noise'

(CNN) – Speaking before a friendly crowd in Colorado Thursday, embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made clear he has no intentions of resigning his post.

"Every time something happens, people say 'he should step down,' Steele told a gathering of GOP supporters Greenfield Village, Colorado. "The reality is that's not happening, so stop the noise on that. You don't need the distraction. We're focused on winning."

Steele's comments come a week after the RNC head told a small crowd of Republican donors in Connecticut that the war in Afghanistan is one "of Obama's choosing" and suggested the conflict there might be unwinnable.

"If [Obama's] such a student of history, has he not understood that that's the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? Alright? Because everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed," Steele said then.

The comments soon surfaced on YouTube and quickly prompted William Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, to call for Steele's resignation. A string of other Republicans – including Arizona Sen. John McCain – have also questioned Steele's ability to lead the party in the wake of the remarks.

But digging in his heels, Steele told the Colorado crowd Thursday he is no stranger to the rough-and-tumble of party politics.

"The reality of it is simply this. I've learned politics through some pretty hard knocks," he said. "Hasn't been easy being a Republican in D.C., hasn't been easy being a Republican in Maryland."

When it comes to the war in Afghanistan, Steele also said he is "four square, one thousand percent with our troops on the ground."

"My goodness, do not leave these young men and women without the resources they need," he added. "This war on terrorism was brought to our shores and we must fight it. We will fight it and we will win it. Because that is what the resolve of the American people is on this."

Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. jeff

    Steele is most appropriate for national American politics (and especially the Republican party) – a myopic mind, an astonishing ego, stunning arrogance, and no sense of reality. Don't get too excited, liberals - the Democrats are just as bad.

    Perhaps we should organize a new political movement. Become a registered Apathetic, and vote straight Indifferent. It's about the only way to cope with the miasma that hangs like bad stench over a government that, sadly, we must somehow endure.

    July 8, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Cameron

    He must be Sarah Palin's brother! Both of the same parents "don't know what to say and never contributes anything real to the conversation".

    July 8, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. TomInRochNY

    Ah, Steele, if you only realized you are the noise.

    July 8, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Joshua Ludd

    Yeah... stop the noise.. cause this has nothing to do with democracy.

    July 8, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Michael

    "Focus is on winning", really? If you want to focus on winning, have some solutions, not rhetric and inaccuracies. Obama inherits a war and you say it's of his choosing. Dishonesty is not what makes good leaders. Contrary to what you believe, people are not stupid.

    July 8, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. RB

    Obama's doing? Is this guy a complete idiot? Does he not even remember the 8 years of darkness led by the Bush administration? He is delusional.

    July 8, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. SunnyD

    Mr. Steele, thank you for being you, I only hope your around long enough for more and more people to associate you with "conservatives" and the GOBP.

    You are simply yet another negative tick mark for the GOBP and eventually when enough people have started paying attention the obstruction of passing legislation and trying to fix things in this country anyway possible may halt. Now the real "sheep" known as "conservative" zombies will have to face reality (good lord can you guys actually read facts and think with an open mind and common sense!?).

    July 8, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Luke

    uhm. hmm... Didn't the war in Afganistan start before Obama was even elected to the Senate? Might be wrong, but nevertheless...

    July 8, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. vikingslost

    If Republicans can't control their own from making comments that harm their message, they deserve RNC Chairman Steele to help them lose in November. Go Michael Steele, please make comments each and every day!

    July 8, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Nadeem

    Tranlation GOP believes in accountability for everyone else but themselves

    July 8, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. PDXSerric

    Despite Steele's own comments a year or so ago chiding the president for wanting to establish a timeline to pull out? Did Steele not

    Typical. Did he not support Bush’s illegal occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    July 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. A HA

    Then maybie Mr. Steel you should lead by example?lol

    July 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. ConservativeNoLonger

    This guy is an idiot! Did he forget that this war began during a Republican presidency! If he is not resigning, he needs to hire a new speech writer! What an IDIOT!

    July 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    STEELE – Keep you mouth SHUT and the NOISE will stop!!!

    You 'urk' the RepubliCAN'Ts!!! You know it too and dare them to do something about it!! They try but do not succeed because they have to be 'careful' because you are 'different' in all aspects. Actually, I'm kinda' enjoying your defiance....LOL

    July 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Doc

    How convenient that after 9 years of being totally ignored by the previous administration the Afghan War is now Obama's War of Choice and now it's unwinnable. Where was Steele's sage advice during the last eight years? Add to this apologies to BP, Death panels and other such bits of wisdom is it a wonder that the GOP lost the last election?

    July 8, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Mesa Mick

    Stick a sock in it Mikey-baby...We're all tired of your empty bleating and braying about the GO(B)P anyway...

    July 8, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Grog in Ohio

    "focused on winning"... yep. That's the GOP way. Forget about solving problems or actually governing. Winning is the key.

    The GOP deserves Michael Steele.

    July 8, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Nick

    He blames Obama for a war that started long before he started his presidential campaign.

    It's just SO typically Republican.

    July 8, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. JOhn

    Each time the spin is applied the comments he made get edited shorter and shorter. Lets not forget this gem:

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

    And to say now ""My goodness, do not leave these young men and women without the resources they need," is a reall major shift from the Republican stance of "you go to war with the army you have" when it came to dismissing why hundreds of soldiers died because the republicans refused to supply body armor or armor the humvees until after the stories hit the press.

    Their agenda is to block, obstruct and prevent success. That may work well amoung those right wingers that care more about thier party than thier country, but the people see right through this nonsense and poltical games. Steeles is just not smart enough to pull off lieing, even to his own party that preferes the lies over the truth.

    July 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Shari from Madison WI

    This guy has no clue what he is doing. I do agree that I want all our soldier's home, but I am angered by him stating that the wars were OBAMA'S CHOICE, as these were started by republican president George Bush!

    July 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Pete in Guilford

    I think he meant "We're focused on WHINING."

    July 8, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Angie

    Its amazing how hard for the republicans to stick with facts. When they lie they even don't blush anymore. There are no shame, there are no fairness, just dirt. Michael Steel you are dirt and that's why you guys are going to loose big. Because people remember and know the facts and we are not as forgetful or forgiven as people like you in republican party hoping we are. Maybe somebody likes it but I am sure most people don't.

    July 8, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Going down...

    Apparently these distractions have not helped the president's job approval rating...

    July 8, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Susan

    It's amazing how much Republicans like to re-write history! Sort of like they're doing with the textbooks in Texas! Separation of Church and state, climate change, evolution – these are all things the Repubs think are up for debate, not proven facts. Now we've added who started the war in Afghanistan! No, Michael, it was W who bombed the hell out of the Afghans and destroyed their government back in 2001, not Obama. W left our soldiers in Afghanistan in the lurch so he could concentrate on the oil fields and Sadam in Iraq. Obama's taking the war back to where it started – the place the 9/11 terrorists came from!

    July 8, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Gordon Shumway

    He is as good a reason not to be a republican party member as old what's his name in the other one keeps me thinking independent!

    July 8, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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