Steele: GOP relieved I'm gone
January 19th, 2011
06:33 PM ET
12 years ago

Steele: GOP relieved I'm gone

(CNN) - Michael Steele, the newly ousted chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he's "disappointed" he lost the recent election but that many in his party are relieved.

"I think the people in the party, particularly the establishment, are breathing a sigh of relief," Steele said Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room." "They have control of the RNC now; let's see what they do with it."

Steele said he thinks members of his party wanted someone with a different tone to run the fundraising arm of the national party. The former Maryland lieutenant governor often made controversial comments that landed him in the national hot seat.

"My style is very different, much more engaged on the streets of America as you saw on the bus tour," Steele told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. "I like to be out there with people. So it's just a different approach and a different style."

When asked about Karl Rove's recent swipe at Steele in the Wall Street Journal, Steele said Rove has "no idea what he's talking about."

The former operative in the George W. Bush administration said Steele's successor, Reince Priebus will run a regime with "no more bloated entourages, sweetheart deals and lack of financial oversight."

"Karl's been attacking me for years," Steele said. "I think the reality of it is Karl doesn't know what he's talking about. The fact of it is there were no entourages, there were no bloated budgets, we ran a very lean machine. We took every dollar that came into the building and put it back on the streets."

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Filed under: Michael Steele • RNC • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Glad to see you finally snapped to what was going on, Michael. Be thankful Obama won because if McCain had, you wouldn't have gotten anywhere near this job your leaving – make book on it!

    January 19, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Superhiro

    C'mon Steele, admit it, you're relieved too.

    January 19, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. Mountaineer

    Michael Steele, you have to agree you sucked as RNC Chairman, and I am a Democrat. You used that office as a Piggybank for the Republican Party getting a person of color to get the black vote. It didn't work because the Republican Party offers nothing to the average person, the working man, whether Latino, White, or Person of Color! Good riddance to a complete failure!

    January 19, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. megan

    I know that knife in your back must hurt. Stop crying because you can"t change the past. So help us move the USA forward.

    January 19, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. fayse

    If only we could say the same for Sarah Palin.

    January 19, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Steele, just kiss your own behind goodbye, the GOP aren't "relieved" you're gone, they are glad to see you gone and you are the only one responsible, dumbo.

    January 19, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "They have control of the RNC now; let's see what they do with it."
    Answer: The same thing they've been doing with it when you were still a part of it: turning what used to be a venerable Party (for the most part) into an unrecognizable, farcical, unpatriotic monstruosity whose main concern is maintaining the staus-quo of its' affluent supporters at the expense of the rest of the country.

    The Republicans have quite literally turned into vampires trying to extract the last drop of viable blood from our beloved country.

    January 19, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    In all seriousness, what can anyone say? He is living in such denial about his abject failures as chairman that one can only feel pity.

    Is this the "...out-of-the-box, hip-hop" performance you promised us, Michael? I was hoping they would continue with your reign of error, but I suppose they had to hand it back to another white male lawyer to feel completely comfortable again. Face it, you were nothing more than a symbolic gesture, and Obama's rating have climbed since November. You failed.

    January 19, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  9. Danny Cali

    Hey, man Republican not going to needs you anyway, just tone down if you need some job from Pre. Obama.

    January 19, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. JonG

    Let's all be frank about the ascension of Steele within the GOP ranks. He was an affirmative action hire meant to oppose the election of a black president. The GOP basically wanted to prove that they, too, "got" what minorities cared about. As with any front, as soon as was possible, the front is eliminated. Which is basically, if one really think about it, what's happening to Obama. We want to believe that the country is beyond race, and so we elect one. As soon as that occurs, we pat ourselves on the back, say, "well, done," and bare our true colors.

    January 19, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Sorry steele, but you are no longer needed because your party realized that we didn't elect a black/white man because of his race but because he is the right man at the right time.
    Nobody could beat a priebus (the name says conservative) who has not one gun but an arsenal at home.
    You had no chance.

    January 19, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    The MAN of Steele – One thing about Steele is that he's NOT afraid to appear on any network and/or radio station. I heard him speak on Tom Joyner Morning Show several times and get "grilled" and he still returns.

    Well Steele, you can always move to "LEFTY COUNTRY"...

    January 19, 2011 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  13. Steve in Denver

    Republicans aren't the only ones. Not sure whether you or Palin are more removed from reality. "Death Panels" from Palin, "Obama should have learned not to invade Afghanistan" from Steele. Number of gaffes favors palin, but Steele gives her a run for her money.

    January 19, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  14. Tracy

    They thought you would be the answer to President Obama, and you are the only one who did not see it. Or should I say, the only black person that did not see it. Dude, what now? You are a has been to them. The don't need you, hell they don't want you in their party..

    January 19, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. to-tell-the-truth

    they only needed a black man service when a black man became president. you should know they would throw the bum out when they feel like they don't need you anymore

    January 19, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  16. m

    Of course they do. They DON'T like minoritys, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. I hope you get something back for all your trouble. Maybe you should change parties or go Libertarian. You were simply used. Outright USED!

    January 19, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  17. Peter s

    Sorry sir! but you are in the wrong party!!

    January 20, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  18. jules sand-perkins

    I am very relieved that Steele is gone. The (Republican)phrase, "you lie," is brought to mind by Steele's line, "we ran a very lean machine."
    Furthermore, the purposes of Republicans' political budgets do not include putting "every dollar...back on the streets:" campaign finances are not welfare projects to be doled out "on the street" like John D. Rockefeller's alms dimes.
    We also need a dignified style far different from Steele's raunchy club gatherings. We need a spokesperson who does not criticize the President of the United States of America for sending his children to a private school where they can learn, in safety, to be proper representatives (stylistically) of the great country that they will represent for the rest of their lives.
    These are among the many things that Steele didn't–let's say, couldn't–understand. They are part of the reason he is gone, and we are glad that he has gone.

    January 20, 2011 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  19. Squigman

    Please. Why is this news worthy? Many people, maybe even better qualified for any position have lost their jobs, their homes, basically their lives and no one gave a damn. Why should any person, regardless of party affiliation care about another over paid, under worked figure head for the lazy. Get real on reporting, or give it up and find another line of work.

    January 20, 2011 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  20. Lean6

    Steele was a token topical anesthetic before the right wing commenced stabbing America in the back. Once he was selected as chairman, and knowing the GOP's history and character of...exclusivity, I immediately knew how useless the the committee probably was in the first place.

    January 20, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |