August 30th, 2010
10:52 AM ET
12 years ago

Steele plans trips to Guam and Marianas

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" RNC Chairman Michael Steele will travel to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands next week."]Washington (CNN) - Why is Michael Steele going to Guam two months before election day?

The trip, announced Monday by Guam Governor Felix Camacho, has some members of the Republican National Committee scratching their heads - and it's a sign to critics that the chairman is more concerned about his own political fortunes than he is about re-taking majorities in Congress this November.

That's because members from the Island Territories - the Northern Mariana Islands, The Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa - gave Steele their decisive bloc of votes in January 2009, when he won the chairmanship on the sixth and final ballot in a tight race.

If the chairman is serious about running again, a likely prospect if his rousing address at the RNC summer meeting earlier this month was any indication, he will once again be counting on the same support from the islands, which do not have voting representation in Washington.

Steele appears to be shoring up island backing with his recent travel schedule.

The Guam trip on September 7 is part of a larger swing through Western states that will also include a visit to the Northern Marianas "to help raise money for candidates and local parties," said RNC spokesman Doug Heye.

Committee members also told CNN that Steele just concluded visits to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, a Caribbean swing confirmed by Heye.

With the committee facing tough financial straits - the RNC had just $5 million in the bank entering August - the island travels are frustrating members of the committee who would rather see party resources spent on tight races that could actually impact control of the House and Senate.

"The idea of Steele traveling to Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with little more than 60 days left is outrageous, especially given our limited fundraising and political support to campaigns nationwide," one RNC member griped to CNN.

Filed under: 2010 • Guam • Michael Steele • RNC
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Ken in NC

    Go on Mr. Steele. I'm sure the RNC would support springing for the cost of a one-way ticket for you. The only thing they would probably require is a verification of the 5 million balance before you leave.

    August 30, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    His leadership has been totally disastrous for the GOP.

    August 30, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. A keen observer

    Don't you just love Steele?

    August 30, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. harold

    Atta boy.. Steele.. Now go to Nevada and give your support to Republican Angle et al....... the T party......huh?

    August 30, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Tim from Tampa

    He's getting his last free (tax-payer-financed) vacation before he gets booted out.

    August 30, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. ronalde

    why not go the gop is picking up the tab,the democrats should be happy they need steele to win in november he is the gift that keeps on giving.

    August 30, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Michael, Phoenix AZ

    Sounds like a big waste of money.

    August 30, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The RNC wants Steele gone, they just haven't clearly figured out how to get rid of him as he continues his "in your face" attitude towards them.

    August 30, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Once again this goes to show that republicans are only concerned about having power. They want to keep their jobs, but not help in passing legislation to help the thousands of Americans without jobs.

    August 30, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. cm

    Does anybody really care Cnn? Hope he stays there.

    August 30, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. More change in November (but good change)

    I don't see CNN talking about what the DNC is doing? Why so much coverage on Steele. Oh yeah, liberals want to bring him down for their own political agendas.

    Liberal policies have marred our country long enough. Time to vote the democrats out of Congress.

    August 30, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Uncle Snerdly

    Bye uncle Mike,now take your bag of cash and retire to the islands,the GOP is done with you.

    August 30, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. Byrd

    Maybe he'll stop by Saipan as well to personally see the slave labor that Bill Moyers exposed in graphic detail. Obama should look into this as well. I'm certain that Tom Delay, who purposely looked the other way and allowed it to occur during his watch, could provide him with all the details as well.

    August 30, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. water bearer

    "Why is Michael Steele going to Guam two months before election day?"

    Simple answer to that. He's an opportunist . . . .and that's all.

    August 30, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Jay

    What's wrong Michael? Repubs not letting you take your foot out of your mouth so you can continue to say further stupid things?

    August 30, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. ccm123

    The president goes on a basically standard vacation in Martha's Vineyard just like the ones before him and the republicant's are in a uproar yet their bozo of a leader can go to Samoa and other tropical islands for "business???"

    August 30, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Peter M

    Let them keep him there. No one wants him back!

    August 30, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. 1GregM

    How is it that the RNC could possible find a howitzer this large with which to blow it foot off in such a crucial time in American history with the upcoming election. It must have taken an impressive search to accomlish this failed attempt in leadership. I don't so much blame Steele. He is imcompetant, unable and althogether ineffective as a leader. I do, on th eother hand, put a lot of blame on the committee who is rsponsible for finding this boob and saddling the party with his methods.

    August 30, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. Shucks

    If Obama did this it would be called another vacation

    August 30, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. ATL Guy

    Sounds like a good vacation trip for him.

    August 30, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Keith in Austin

    Great SCOOP CNN!! Stir up your Liberal base! Funny how your viewership continues to plummet! The good news is that Keith Obermann and Rachel Maddow over at MSNBC are even more liberally obsurd than you!

    August 30, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. bernice

    Who's paying for Mr. Steele's trip??? Taxpayers???..Repubs are crying because they think they paid for O'bama's family vacation but it's OK to pay for a NOBODY...Steele has never done anything for our country except live a lavish life off of taxpayers that are living in poverty..LOSER!!!

    August 30, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Donkey Party

    Oh, ok. So that's how Republican fiscal conservatism works.

    August 30, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |