November 1st, 2010
08:43 AM ET
11 years ago

Steele to Palin critics: Shut up!

(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is defending Sarah Palin against recent attacks Monday, telling CNN that GOP detractors of the former vice presidential nominee need to "shut up."

"These Republican leaders who don't put their names in print but make comments in shadows need to shut up," Steele told American Morning's John Roberts Monday. "We're focused on winning elections tomorrow night. We're not focused on 2012."

Steele's comments were in reference to a Politico article out Monday in which a string of unnamed Republicans, feeling Palin could not be a viable presidential contender, said it will be the party's goal to prevent her from running in 2012.

Other establishment Republicans have also gone on the record to criticize the former Alaska governor – most recently Karl Rove, who last week said Palin lacks the gravitas to sit in the oval office.

But speaking on CNN Monday, Steele said he would be happy if she is the party's standard-bearer in 2012

"If she goes through the process and the Republican primary voters vote for her, absolutely I would be happy," said Steele. "Why wouldn't I be?"


Filed under: 2012 • Michael Steele • Sarah Palin
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Canuck

    The Republican party is all about ignorance.How else would you get people to vote for a party that has absolutely no intention of helping them?

    November 1, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  2. Indie Woman in Denver

    Michael Steele is the one who should be shutting up, IMHO.

    November 1, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. Former Republican - Now Independent

    I guess the right of free speech does not extend to those critical of Sarah Palin.

    Perhaps the new, Republican-controlled Congress will institute a new Constitutional Ammendment that forbids:
    1. Burning the Flag
    2. Homosexuals
    3. Criticizing Sarah Palin

    Wonder if it will extend to those critical of Christine O'Donnell too ... or will that be a separate Constitutional Ammendent?

    November 1, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  4. Peace

    Is Steele really representing the interest of the Party??? I really doubt it. Karl Rove has worked for GOP long, he knows what is talking about and for the benefit of everyone in the Party. Steele is not serious at all in the business, he is just there to make his daily bread.

    November 1, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. L

    Since when have the Conservatives become so sensitive after years of dissing the Liberals!

    Personally, I'd like to see a cease fire on both sides and a shift toward more intelligent discussion of their respective positions, but seriously doubt that it will ever happen soon.

    November 1, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Nathan S.

    Steele should be ashamed of himself.

    November 1, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. jules sand-perkins

    Sometimes I disagree with Steele, but here he is right.
    And regarding Palin's measure of gravitas, I doubt that the voters of the future will appreciate gravitas or even understand that word.
    I'd betcha a quarter that if you asked public-school students about gravitas today, most of them would think it had something to do with condiments for take-out fried chicken.

    November 1, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. rdepontb

    Michael Steele: Please shut up!

    November 1, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Marg

    Oh, Mr. Steel, were so sorry as americans to have any thoughts about electing a moron into high office!! How dare us have any thoughts of figuring out the difference between smart and stupid!!!!!! You make a good dictator. Why am I not listening to such authority???? I must be stupid too!

    November 1, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. TM

    II'd rather see Bush get a third term than let that arrogant, IGNORANT, quitter, anywhere near the White House.

    November 1, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. diridi

    I told you long time ago, whoever talks these GOP thugs say shut up....America, wake up, and vote for Dem.....tomorrow...GOP messed this nation....Economy is now in this position means, GOP thugs...period...o.k, if these thugs win, it is a detriment to America.....

    November 1, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. Mart

    If Palin was elected in 2012, then the prophecy would be correct. It would be the end of the world as we know it.

    November 1, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  13. PalmReader

    What a tool Steele has become. And how embarrassing for him after the election. Win, loose, or draw, Steele is out. The TeaPers will all be sent quietly back from whence they came, Steele and Palin included.

    November 1, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. John

    Any thing a REPUBLICAN is saying about SARAN PALIN was a lot nicer than they rest of the world is saying. The woman is the world biggest IDIOT,hateful and RACIST. She doing nothing but hurting the REPUBLICAN PARTY and AMERICA . And you Mr. Steele will be looking for a new jobs because the REPUBLICAN won't need there token black man no more. Reminder Mr. Steele SARAN PALIN said if the REPUBLICAN PARTY don't join the TEA PARTY the REPUBLICAN PARTY is through. Want you going to call the new PARTY THE REPUBLICAN TEA PARTY. Even a BLIND man can see that SARAN PALIN is NOT QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT or any PUBLIC OFFICE.

    November 1, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Bob Dog

    Mr. Steele is an ignornant lightweight. And I should know, I'm from Maryland. Its a thrill to see the repubs being led by someone so naive, lazy, and out of touch.

    "Run, Sarah, Run!"

    November 1, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Johnny

    Steele a typical right wing nutjob leading the party. He is the one that should shut up along with his right wing extremist wingnuts who destroyed the country from 2000-2008. He is shameless.....

    November 1, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. Sgt Joe

    Now you've heard it from the voice of the GOP....do you feel enlightened yet? How on earth can people justify voting for the GOP? It's beyond comprehension....all they want is power; they have no new solutions. That "power" got us in a huge world of debt....two unfunded wars. Think abou t it people; where are your memories? Palin a serious contender? Does that not make you take pause? My Jack Russell terrier has more smarts.

    November 1, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Jersey Bob

    From the party unity perspective, Steele is absolutely correct (I almost said "right" but that's redundant...). Why snipe at Palin when she's trying to get the vote out for Republican candidates (albeit Tea Bagger fringe candidates, but who's seeing a big diff?). Such insider criticism may have been useful before Palin helped the nut-job Baggers (I distinguish Nut-job because contrary to many posts here, there are many many truly sincere, intelligent, and concerned Baggers out there...) overrun traditional, mainstream Republican candidates. That's water under the bridge (using "bridge" is also strange when referring to Republicans...). Save the criticism for November 3rd. Palin always provides more fodder anyway, so it might be worth the wait. You betcha....

    November 1, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. Tam

    How about telling Palin to SHUT UP! She spouts nonsense. A compilation of transcripts - as is - would be a fascinating tome for the comedy section online or in a bookstore.

    November 1, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. Tam

    Ans Steele is as nuts or as dumb as she is, if he accepts her.

    November 1, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. LiberalMajority

    "We're not focused on 2012"

    As if it matters. No one on earth can beat President Obama in an election. Period. Should be fun to watch though lol...

    November 1, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Anonymous

    All of her "detractor" will shut up when she does. This woman is ignorant, unimformed, sarcastic and mean spritied.
    For anyone to defend this, only shows they have little of no respect for civility in politics or for other human beings.
    It's not that we wnat to keep saying things against her, but bewtween her in your face approach and the media hanging on er every word, we are left no choice.

    November 1, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. KMAN821

    As a Liberal ... I really like Michael Steele because he's such an arrogant and worthless tool as the party chairman for the GOP and they are stuck with him! Palin in 2012 for POTUS will be the best thing that could possibly happen for the Democrats.

    November 1, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. Demosthenes

    Wait a minute. They should "shut up" because they are expressing a dissenting opinion? Is this what the Republican Party has come to? Instead of limited government and individual freedom/responsibility, we now have "you're either with us or against us" and "shut up"? This unfortunately IS an indicator of what the Republican party has come to; government CONTROL (not limited government) and strong, centralized POWER (not individual freedom & responsibility).
    What a shame that modern conservatism has allowed itself to become so limited, reactionary, and devoid of real solutions.

    November 1, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Lynne

    I do agree with Steele to let Palin go through the primary process and see if she wins. It doesn't necessarily mean she's electable nationwide. But then, if someone as brainless and ignorant as Sharon Angle has the chance of winning a Senatorial election after all the really stupid things she's said, who knows what could happen in 2 years? Two years is a lifetime or two in politics. It all depends on what shape the country is in and who the public credits or blames for it. I do believe if the Republicans continue their mission to destroy Obama instead of helping Americans, they'll be thrown out again in 2 years. And it depends on what Palin does over the next 2 years. She may end up knocking herself out of the race.

    November 1, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
1 2 3 4 5