Video: Steele makes it official; Update: NRLC endorsement in 2006

posted at 9:35 am on November 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Michael Steele officially threw his hat in the ring for the RNC chair, a position that has already generated a lot of speculation after the second straight Republican defeat in national elections.  Steele confirmed his decision with Chris Cillizza before discussing it on Hannity & Colmes last night. He said the past election was the culmination of Republican self-doubt:

“After two devastating election cycles, the party has reached a crossroads,” said Steele comparing the Republican party to someone who has “hunkered down” in a corner with no idea what to do next. “I think I may have some keys to open the door, some juice to turn on the lights,” Steele explained.

Steele is the second candidate to formally enter the race; Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis launched his own bid with a You Tube video and a new website earlier this week.

A number of other candidates are mulling the race including: current RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chip Saltsman, former Iowa Rep. Jim Nussle, South Carolina Party Chair Katon Dawson and Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer.

Alan Colmes wondered where Steele had been over the past few years, claiming that Steele hadn’t spoken out against Republican failures until just now. I can attest to Steele’s efforts to raise grassroots passion about returning the GOP to its small-government conservatism, the kind that lifted the party to power in 1994. He regularly appears on Fox and has for the past few years as a commentator for conservative viewpoints. I don’t know where Colmes has been, but Steele’s been engaged on the national stage for some time, and has been warning about the direction of the Republican Party over that period.

Some have questioned Steele’s commitment to pro-life issues.  Steele, a Catholic, rejected a litmus test on abortion for judges during his 2006 run for the Senate against Ben Cardin:

“I have no litmus test in that regard because my constitutional obligation is to represent the people of the state,” said Steele, who is Catholic.

“In that instance, you put on the bench the best jurist because our country is more than one issue, even though it’s a profound issue,” he said during a meeting with Washington Post editors and reporters. “I have never subscribed to a benchmark, litmus test mentality. And I never would. I never will.”

He also equivocated on Roe v Wade in a debate that same year, personally opposing abortion but supporting stare decisis on Roe. Steele opposed federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, supporting Bush’s executive order on the point.  He declared that pro-life was the mainstream position in America, but Steele sounded uncomfortable with pressing for an outright ban on abortions.

It would be interesting to see where Steele sees himself now on that position, but the above doesn’t look like a dealbreaker for social conservatives.  We will need a party leader who can get to the core principles that unite the conservative movement, a First Principles approach that starts with the basics of national security, smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and personal liberty.  Steele at the least qualifies on those points, and perhaps we will see more potential leaders step forward to compete on those same qualities.

Update: The National Right to Life Committee endorsed Steele in the 2006 race.  Apparently, they weren’t too concerned about the equivocations.


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Can I get a Hell Yeh!?

GunnyRet03 on November 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM

For me, it’s global warming. That is the credibility litmus test. If he buys into it, and all that that implies, he’s a lost cause.

keep the change on November 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM

He also equivocated on Roe v Wade in a debate that same year, personally opposing abortion but supporting stare decisis on Roe.

Stare Decicis is a term liberals throw around when a court decision goes their way. They couldn’t care less about it if it somehow infracts on say… partial birth abortion, homosexual marriage, the abolition of property rights, gun bans, etc.

BKennedy on November 14, 2008 at 9:42 AM

I like this guy a lot!

TheSitRep on November 14, 2008 at 9:45 AM

No more Mr nice guy……..lets hope!

grapeknutz on November 14, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Gun rights. If you ever, ever, ever and I mean EVER had it in your head to keep guns out of the hands of the law-abiding of any city anywhere, then you automatically lose.

Anyone know Steele’s position on guns?

Bishop on November 14, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Yeah, who needs life when just liberty and the pursuit of happiness will do?

That is not a vote against Steele, by the way. Just a point.

BigD on November 14, 2008 at 9:50 AM

I don’t know anything about the rest of them, but I do like Michael Steele.

4shoes on November 14, 2008 at 9:50 AM

I think those responses to the judicial life issues are perfectly fine for a pro-life, conservative politician. Especially one who’s running in a liberal fantasyland like Maryland.

Abby Adams on November 14, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Steele is a very likeable guy, who debates well and seems to me to epitomize the true conservative. I support him!

Star20 on November 14, 2008 at 9:54 AM

If he’s ready to stop equivocating, kick ass and take no prisoners . . . sign him up.

rplat on November 14, 2008 at 9:54 AM

For me, it’s global warming. That is the credibility litmus test. If he buys into it, and all that that implies, he’s a lost cause.

keep the change on November 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM

What the heck does the RNC chairman have to do with global warming????

I swear, it seems like some of you here just make stuff up so you can slam anyone who just isn’t perfect enough for you.

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 9:55 AM

At least I’ve heard of Steele. I’ve heard of Gingrich, too, but he still has baggage. There are reasons Newt is no longer in elected office.

kcfrommt on November 14, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Ed,

Colmes is a moron, until you realize that, you’ll always be confused by his “observations” er “talking points.”

Tim Burton on November 14, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Steele, a Catholic

I’ve been wondering why he gets so much praise here. I mean I know that he’s a former Lt. Gov, I know he’s mostly conservative. But now I know why he gets so much attention here.

BTW. There are plenty of Protestant and conservative blacks that are against abortion. Just FYI.

ThackerAgency on November 14, 2008 at 10:00 AM

FYI, the Democrats sure are scared of this guy. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at him in 2006 to keep him from winning that election, including illegally obtaining his credit report. They were already setting up Barack Obama as the Black Jesus. Michael Steele in the Senate would have messed up that narrative. Just think of what Michael Steele as RNC Chairman will do.

Steele is also a hip guy. He can help give Republicans a little “Elvis” again, like Lee Atwater did back in the day. That will help bring back some younger voters and activists.

This guy had the endorsement of Russell Simmons and a few of the black radio hosts in DC and Baltimore when he ran for Senate. He is no Oreo or Uncle Tom, and he would not be a token if he wins the RNC chairmanship.

But once again, the hardcore social cons are going to have to bite their tongues at times. Steele will be doing a lot to reach out to minorities and try to soften the face of the party. He’s going to get behind some candidates in the Northeast and Southwest that you all will call RINOs.

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 10:01 AM

I have no problems with his position on abortion, Roe, etc. However, he was noticeably MIA this election year.

Blake on November 14, 2008 at 10:02 AM

I guess the logic is to make the head of the RNC a demographic that you lose. So maybe the R’s will do better than 5% of the black vote and 45% of the Catholic vote with him as the R chair. . . I doubt it. If the D’s ever ran (or found) a pro-life Catholic, he/she’d win 75% of the catholic vote.

ThackerAgency on November 14, 2008 at 10:03 AM

It would be interesting to see where Steele sees himself now on that position, but the above doesn’t look like a dealbreaker for social conservatives. We will need a party leader who can get to the core principles that unite the conservative movement…

…which would have to include at least some restrictions on abortion, including parental notification, informed consent, a ban on partial-birth, and ultimately, turning the matter over to the states.

The only reason McCain got as much support from them as he did, was because he chose Palin. They are called SOCIAL conservatives for a reason, and they’ve been thrown under the bus by the neo-cons for the last time.

Steele needs to clarify his position here, if he’s to lead the party in clarifying anything else.

manwithblackhat on November 14, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Headline in paper: GOP elect first black chairman, only because we have a black president.

la.rt.wngr on November 14, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Shouldn’t the RNC chair agree with most Republicans that Roe v. Wade should be overturned?

thankful on November 14, 2008 at 10:05 AM

hell, if he can unify the party to a degree to get congress back into a ability to check the executive branch, I’m all for it.

DaveC on November 14, 2008 at 10:07 AM

I have no problems with his position on abortion, Roe, etc. However, he was noticeably MIA this election year.

His speech at the RNC was good. As to his stance on Global Warming? I think that same speech should assuage anyone’s doubts…
Drill Baby Drill

rhodeymark on November 14, 2008 at 10:07 AM

But once again, the hardcore social cons are going to have to bite their tongues at times. Steele will be doing a lot to reach out to minorities and try to soften the face of the party. He’s going to get behind some candidates in the Northeast and Southwest that you all will call RINOs.

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Honest to God, rockmom, I would not have expected that from you, having read your posts here for the past year or so. White pro-life people are a universally nasty, “hardcore”, anti-diversity “you all” group? Is that what you thought about Ronald Reagan? George Bush? Sarah Palin?

BigD on November 14, 2008 at 10:09 AM

No more Mr nice guy……..lets hope!

I’m sick of the word hope. Hope is for people who wait for great things to happen by circumstance, or wait to be rescued in a bad situation. Hope is for people who refuse to get off their rear ends and make things happen.

I’ll support Steele if he can be a true conservative and get things done. But I don’t expect that black Americans will suddenly gravitate to the GOP because we would now have a black leader. They’ll call him an Oreo or Uncle Tom, like they always do.

If Steele intends to keep the GOP moving toward the moderate side of the spectrum (because, you know, that’s worked so well for us, NOT!), then this decision will be the final death blow for the GOP.

I still think Fred is the best choice.

ErinF on November 14, 2008 at 10:10 AM

FYI, the Democrats sure are scared of this guy. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at him in 2006 to keep him from winning that election, including illegally obtaining his credit report.

Hardly. Breaking laws comes natural to the democrats.

They were already setting up Barack Obama as the Black Jesus. Michael Steele in the Senate would have messed up that narrative. Just think of what Michael Steele as RNC Chairman will do.

Well, he won’t be Black Jesus because republicans are not insane enough to promote him as a deity. And again, he is no threat to loons.

Steele is also a hip guy. He can help give Republicans a little “Elvis” again, like Lee Atwater did back in the day. That will help bring back some younger voters and activists.

Hahaha. How old are you? 18? Seriously, you are making crap up and trying to see what sticks. This doesn’t.

This guy had the endorsement of Russell Simmons and a few of the black radio hosts in DC and Baltimore when he ran for Senate. He is no Oreo or Uncle Tom, and he would not be a token if he wins the RNC chairmanship.

Counting the number of cookies the nuts threw at him, they perceive him as an oreo. Blacks who are overwhelming democrat will always see black republicans as sell outs.

But once again, the hardcore social cons are going to have to bite their tongues at times.

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 10:01 AM

He hasn’t been elected. And even if he does, not expect the GOP to become the RINO party. It won’t.

Blake on November 14, 2008 at 10:11 AM

does = is

Blake on November 14, 2008 at 10:11 AM

I don’t know where Colmes has been,

Wherever it was, I’m sorry he came back.

irishspy on November 14, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Best pick of the litter, imo.

a capella on November 14, 2008 at 10:13 AM

Correction: I disagree that abortion shouldn’t be a litmus test for abortion. And even if I didn’t, since the left uses litmus tests, I see no reason why the right shouldn’t, too.

Blake on November 14, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Blake on November 14, 2008 at 10:11 AM

You beat me to the puch on the oreo comment. If I remember correctly this was the term of art for him when he and Erlich were running for office. Really quite sad, Michael Steele is a very good man.

Marine_Bio on November 14, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Best guy for the job! I am enthusiastic for Steele and I want the RNC to pay attention to us conservatives for once and put this guy in charge.

jencab on November 14, 2008 at 10:18 AM

FYI, the Democrats sure are scared of this guy. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at him in 2006 to keep him from winning that election, including illegally obtaining his credit report. They were already setting up Barack Obama as the Black Jesus. Michael Steele in the Senate would have messed up that narrative. Just think of what Michael Steele as RNC Chairman will do.

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 10:01 AM

You’re right. I remember that episode and felt outraged at the manner in which Steele was treated. IIRC, it was Schumer’s aides who illegally obtained his credit report.

Steele has a personal narrative that I believe is important. He did not grow up with a sense of entitlement. His mother was an important influence on his life. As far as I know he has worked hard for everything he has achieved. In many ways he is the antithesis of BO.

I would very much like to see Steele on the national stage in some capacity and have felt so for several years.

Cody1991 on November 14, 2008 at 10:20 AM

I thank God for Michael Steele.

awake on November 14, 2008 at 10:20 AM

rockmom,

I’d be plenty happy with some RINOs in the northeast. There the only kind that can survive in that kind of environment. Anything to hold the line and slowly make inroads is better than the current situation.

I like Steele for the job, also.

BadgerHawk on November 14, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Colmes is wondering where Steele has been? He’s all over the place. He ran for the Senate in ’06. He was on FoxNews. He was at ’04 and ’08 GOP conventions. He even appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher(and handled himself quite well, I might add).

I’ve been a big Steele fan since I first heard him speak 4 years ago. He’s by far the best man for the RNC job.

Doughboy on November 14, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Honest to God, rockmom, I would not have expected that from you, having read your posts here for the past year or so. White pro-life people are a universally nasty, “hardcore”, anti-diversity “you all” group? Is that what you thought about Ronald Reagan? George Bush? Sarah Palin?

BigD on November 14, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Yup. I’m pretty much the only nasty, hardcore, anti-diversity “you all” pro-lifer here.

Darth Executor on November 14, 2008 at 10:24 AM

When you say RINO, do you mean those Republicans who don’t see abortion as the overriding issue for all candidates/politics? If so, then I guess I’m a RINO.

kelley in virginia on November 14, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Let me pose this question: if a candidate was 100% pro-life, but wanted to wave the white flag to all terrorists (Obambi), then would he satisfy the social conservatives? Please state the social conservative parameters.

kelley in virginia on November 14, 2008 at 10:27 AM

I’d be plenty happy with some RINOs in the northeast. There the only kind that can survive in that kind of environment. Anything to hold the line and slowly make inroads is better than the current situation.

I like Steele for the job, also.

BadgerHawk on November 14, 2008 at 10:22 AM</blockquote

Thinking like that is what got us McCain and DEFEAT. We need REAL conservatives to help spread the message. We can win hearts and minds people if we stick to our core beliefs on run on that.

RobertCSampson on November 14, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Very good news! Steele is a great man. Honest, and says exactly how it is. Colmes is a tart. Was a trip seeing his wife on the show the other night. Steele has my approval all the way. One was wondering his thoughts on guns. I do to. That is an important issue.

sheebe on November 14, 2008 at 10:27 AM

kelley in virginia on November 14, 2008 at 10:27 AM

How many ardent pro-life politicians want to raise the white flag to terrorists?

YellowDawg on November 14, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Steele, a Catholic

I’ve been wondering why he gets so much praise here….

BTW. There are plenty of Protestant and conservative blacks that are against abortion. Just FYI.

ThackerAgency on November 14, 2008 at 10:00 AM

…ah…you again…remember you from another thread….

…so, HA is a den of papists? Does the Bishop of Rome blog here?

I haven’t been anathemized and burned…so far…so, maybe not….

…are we to vet our politicians based on their denomination?

I actually have no idea what Mr. McCain’s church affiliation is…don’t much care…I’d probably disagree with him…and voted for him. Gov. Palin’s church is one of those nondenominational/general protestant things, and that’s none of my business.

Would that Mr. Steele were Jewish…that’d have the cat among the pidgeons!

Ultimately, who cares. Romney is a Mormon and Huckabee is a Baptist and I have no idea if Fred Thompson even attends church….

…for my own part, I’d vote for an atheist if one ran who came out on the right side of governance issues…if that were possible in today’s overheated climate…and if you could find an atheist with any sense and wasn’t all bitter and whiney….

…we want government to be small such that those in government, and their personal views, aren’t a factor in our lives, don’t we? If we surrender to the view that goverment must be all-pervasive to govern today, I can see the point of vetting a candidate on the basis of religions. Personally, I want politicians and my family and my business at a sufficient remove that their spiritual health and views don’t interfere with mine.

We look to their records — their profession of religion is all well and good, and church attendance is dandy, but what they’ve done is a better indicator of future foul-ups than is profession of faith. After all, religious people also have feet of clay….

It would be handier if our leaders were generally aligned with us in matters of tradition and faith, as well as in ideology, but we cannot require it…not today…it may warm our cockles, the personal and familial decisions our prospective public servants make, but we hire ‘em to work…not pray….

…so, Catholics are in, as are Jews (hooray, Joe Lieberman!), as are Mormons, Baptists, and even Methodists…because we aren’t hiring ‘em as Catholics or Jews or Methodists…hopefully…and shouldn’t. We’re hiring ‘em to carry out our business…and, if we can’t trust ‘em on the basis of the 10% upon which we disagree, we’re screwed…unless we all go out and run ourselves….

…then, we’ll be faced with more people who’ll disargee with us…so, what’s the point?

…determine the guy’s general tendency…and, from what I’ve seen, Mike Steele’s general tendency is just fine….

Puritan1648 on November 14, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Michael Steele is actively seeking this job. That is a good thing. He wants it and will do his best to get it. He can do what needs to be done. I don’t know the others that were mentioned that well except for Newt. Newt has stepped away from it. He can be doing other things to get this party back on track. Michael Steele has name recognition and does appear on Fox quite regularly. This seems like a good strategy. Leading the party and also getting face time regularly on TV and talk radio. I am sure Hannity would have him on regularly. What is the name of the outgoing chairman again?

BetseyRoss on November 14, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Yellow Dawg: I don’t know if any ardent pro-life politicians want to raise the white flag of surrender. My point is that when the life issue becomes the single issue, some other issues are ignored. What about guns? taxes? and other Republican issues?

I’m not trying to start a fuss here–I am just posing a question.

kelley in virginia on November 14, 2008 at 10:40 AM

RobertCSampson on November 14, 2008 at 10:27 AM

I didn’t say I wanted a RINO running for POTUS, or shaping policy in any serious way for that matter. But the party needs them in certain parts of the country to maintain a large coalition.

BadgerHawk on November 14, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Just heard on NPR (from the next room) something about McCain and Obama meeting next Monday, to talk about how to “bring Americans together” or some such BS.

Perhaps Mr. Steele’s first act as RNC Chair should be to send Johnny McComity a STFU memo?

drunyan8315 on November 14, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Isn’t this guy we were clamoring for when Bush stuck Mel Martinez in? As long as he shows conservative I’ll back him, be a squid like so many have become and my enthusiasm will remain in my pocket.

DanMan on November 14, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Let’s see if he can purge the party from the rinos!!!

grapeknutz on November 14, 2008 at 10:54 AM

kelley,

but the problem with that argument is that those politcians simply don’t exist.

YellowDawg on November 14, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Yellow Dawg: I don’t know if any ardent pro-life politicians want to raise the white flag of surrender. My point is that when the life issue becomes the single issue, some other issues are ignored….

kelley in virginia on November 14, 2008 at 10:40 AM

You made a declarative statement, then called it a question. Oh well, let’s work with it…

No, pro-lifers generally don’t ignore the other issues. They remind us that, without the right to life, all other rights are forfeit. To put it another way, if we don’t have the right to exist, does it matter whether we can carry guns or lower our taxes?

manwithblackhat on November 14, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Steele had Oreos thrown at him by a bunch of WHITE union goons. Once. It got so much bad press for the Dems that they never tried it again. He also got the endorsements of a ton of black ministers and even some black Democrat local officials in Prince George’s County. When he ran for Lt. Gov. with Bob Ehrlich they won 35% of the black vote, and that was against a Kennedy.

Sorry about my comment in my earlier post. It was unnenecessarily harsh and I did not mean it that way. I am responding to a very small number of posters here who are always the first to throw out the “RINO” charge and set up the most severe litmus tests that almost nobody can pass.

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 11:05 AM

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 11:05 AM

I gotta agree with you there. The RINO charge is so overly tossed around here.

OMG, he thinks the climate is changing, RINO!!
OMG, he is taking a second look at immigration, RINO!!
OMG, he thinks there ought to be some oversight of the markets, RINO!!

It’s like I’m looking at dkos sometimes.

YellowDawg on November 14, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Just heard on NPR (from the next room) something about McCain and Obama meeting next Monday, to talk about how to “bring Americans together” or some such BS.

Perhaps Mr. Steele’s first act as RNC Chair should be to send Johnny McComity a STFU memo?

drunyan8315 on November 14, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Heard same thing this a.m. on Fox. Might I second your emotion? ASAP someone needs to let McCain know he is OUT and not IN!

His mug needs to park itself in AZ and his “retreat” or in D.C. in the Senate! And stop campaigning for Saxby in GA! ARGH!

freeus on November 14, 2008 at 11:17 AM

For RNC Chair, his pro-life’ish views are good enough for me.

My only questions of him would be, will he help recruit pro-life candidates with zeal?

Will he go squishy with with the view of the republican elite that thinks we are only going to gain power again by giving up on social issues?

Will he fully fund competitive races when the media heat is on (like the Michele Bachman fiasco)?

Will he adapt to GOP to all the new fundraising methods, minus the credit card fraud?

I think he is going to end up being a fine choice.

myrenovations on November 14, 2008 at 11:26 AM

He also equivocated on Roe v Wade in a debate that same year, personally opposing abortion but supporting stare decisis on Roe.

So he’s opposed to abortion but supports extra-constitutional decisions to force the states to allow infanticide against their wishes. Steele is a fraud.

Buddahpundit on November 14, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Correction: I disagree that abortion shouldn’t be a litmus test for abortion. And even if I didn’t, since the left uses litmus tests, I see no reason why the right shouldn’t, too.

Blake on November 14, 2008 at 10:16 AM

I agree completely. I don’t understand how some people don’t care about this, or are even willing to let it slide.

If you think a fetus isn’t human, you’re ignoring science. If you don’t think a human doesn’t deserve a chance at life, you’re ignoring our founding documents upon which our country is based.

It’s like hiring a calculus teacher that doesn’t understand that 2+2=4. How could you even entertain such an absurdity?

dominigan on November 14, 2008 at 11:28 AM

LoL, how many of us predicted that McCain would be all Kumbayah with Obama as soon as the election was over. Of course he will.

I thought Saxby Chambliss was a RINO now. So why should we care if he wins?

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 11:28 AM

A black man leading the Republicans, a black man leading the Democrats…we’re a racist nation.

ballz2wallz on November 14, 2008 at 11:32 AM

MSM now digging feverishly through Steele’s kindergarten grade transcripts.

whitetop on November 14, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Steele is the perfect choice. It’s time to purge the party of RINO’s and bible thumpers. The real issues are the economy and the growing list of world leaders looking to test our willingness to use force against aggression. Steele understand this and knows that the GOP can only make gains in 2010 and 2012 if we off-load the country club Republicans and bring into the Party those who mean what they say and will do what it takes to take back control of this government.

It doesn’t hurt that he is black since you know any criticism of The Black Caesar will be met with charges of racism. It will be funny to watch Obama’s white media friends try to paint Steele as an Uncle Tom.

grdred944 on November 14, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Oh puhleeze. I’m not a Dem, but even I can see that this will not go well. Nevermind that Republicans have been decidedly more inclusive and diverse in their appointments to high office, this will be spun as so much, “me-too-ism” by the MSM –who won’t fail to point out how far behind the curve we are. It’s not true, but you go ahead and try to convince ‘em. Besides, GOP leadership is a bunch of old white guys, having failed to promote young and exciting Black Republicans. Remember whats-his-name that everyone was so in love with just a decade ago? Yeah. Didn’t think so. He got relegated to the back bench just like all the rest of the newcomers.

Forget this man’s qualifications, this will be so much more racism flung in our faces.

Joan of Argghh on November 14, 2008 at 11:58 AM

I really like Michael Steele. Everytime he is on H&C I agree with him. He is smart, conservative and likeable.
Now if he ran for President I would have been behind him.

I wish him the best. As far as Colmes, most of what he says, I feel he doesn’t even believe. I don’t take him very seriously at all.

Go Michael!

Conservatives R Us on November 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Here is a link to Steele’s speech at the 2004 RNC convention. I defy anyone to watch it and say it wasn’t better than Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC speech. And Steele actually meant what he said.

Steele (scroll down to bottom of page for video).

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 12:04 PM

For me, it’s global warming. That is the credibility litmus test. If he buys into it, and all that that implies, he’s a lost cause.

keep the change on November 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM

I agree. You have to be an absolute moron to buy into that $hat.

Badger40 on November 14, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Steele is eminently qualified to be RNC chairman and I don’t think he will be seen as a token, even in the liberal media. He has been a popular speaker at the last two RNC conventions. He has been elected in one of the bluest states there is. He put himself out there to run for a Senate seat in a bad year for Republicans, and ran a very good and innovative campaign. He has been running GOPAC for the last two years since he lost his Senate race. He could have just gotten a radio or TV show and made money, but he went to work trying to build the party, raise money, and train candidates. He has been going all over the country meeting with candidates and voters. I think he has a good idea of where the country is and where the Party needs to go.

rockmom on November 14, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Steel is good. Plus, he has a memorable name; one that the press will be unable to resist.

Another man who needs to be in the national forum is Lynn Swann–the man who ran for Gov. in PA.

I’m not saying this as a “black thing”; I am saying that being black is a weapon one can use against the left. You fight to win and you use every weapon you can get your hands on to do so. Both men are of a different generation than that currently running things. Both are successful men who have much to offer. Both were pretty much screwed by the party system as it exists today. I don’t want to see Gov. Palin or Gov. Jindal go by the wayside either–use every weapon in your arsenal.

We need to take the party away from the DC set, and the Ivy Leagues. Their primary motive is for themselves, to preserve their social position and their power.

We need a grass-roots movement. A Republican is not a member of the “filthy rich”. A Republican is one who wishes to preserve a way of life in which a person who is driven to succeed CAN BECOME FILTHY RICH. We want the pie to grow continuously, so that each piece is a little bigger.

The already wealthy don’t really create that many jobs. It is those who are building wealth that create the majority of jobs. This is something which has to be disseminated continuously, to combat the big lie of the far left.

Eqwatz on November 14, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Pawlenty is right: Republicans are rapidly becoming a regional party, and we can’t afford to have that happen. We desperately need:

1. Bold, innovative, free-market approaches to “kitchen table issues” including jobs, the deficit, health care, education, and the environment.

2. A media strategy that works. Bush and McCain’s strategy was to hide from the MSM — a strategy that spectacularly failed for both. The GOP needs to learn how to both engage the MSM in a way to neutralize their bias and to use new media, talk radio, and Fox more effectively to get the message out.

3. Better outreach to Hispanic and young voters. If Hispanics become a reliable Democratic supermajority like blacks and Jews, and/or if young voters become reliably Democratic and liberal, the GOP will cease to exist as a national party. It’s just that simple.

I say we give Steele a chance, but keep a very short leash on him and insist he enacts this kind of agenda for the party as RNC chair. He should call on Gingrich, Rove, Palin, Pawlenty, and others to serve as advisors.

Outlander on November 14, 2008 at 12:38 PM

I’m sick of hearing about abortion. Am I pro life? Hell yes. But is the government in any shape to do anything about abortion? Hell no. Its really one of the last issues I think is on the agenda right now. What I care about in a candidate is defense, economics, etc. The sell out to moral politics is what has destroyed our party and conservative principles. Should we be pro life? yes. But whys it matter if Michael Steele is? He’s not running for President to select Supreme Court Justices.

eski502 on November 14, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Eski502: It is not the government that is involved with abortion; it is the tax-payer dollar. People don’t want their money being spent to fund abortion or the kind of stem cell research that involves a baby in a blender. It is as simple as that.

Eqwatz on November 14, 2008 at 12:42 PM

Pawlenty is right: Republicans are rapidly becoming a regional party, and we can’t afford to have that happen. We desperately need:

um … all parties seem to be regional … look at the dems … the northeast, northwest, california and urban areas

the GOP … the south, mountain west and the midwest

you start in the regions and then you pick off enough states to win … just like the dems did .. they had their “regions” and picked off some GOP states to win

that is how it goes every single time and sometimes you have a landslide

the Republicans are never ever going to win in the cities, ever … cities are run by democrats and contain large amounts of people who live off of the government, no REAL GOP message will get through to them

joey24007 on November 14, 2008 at 12:55 PM

For me, it’s global warming. That is the credibility litmus test. ***
keep the change on November 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Has the science on climate change been cooked by politically-motivated scientists? Probably. But standing around screaming “global warming is a fraud!!!” isn’t going to solve that problem. The “scientific community” will just emerge and say “you’re wrong” and the media will pile on. There is a time and a place to fight the junk science on “global warming,” and that time and place is NOT during an election year.

The more pressing battleground is over what to DO about global warming. The Democrats’ solution to climate change is to reduce the amount of energy produced and used in America. It’s Marxist and anti-growth. Think about what’s been said in the campaign: Bankrupt the coal industry. Stand in the way of energy generation (nuclear, oil drilling, refineries). Regulate your thermostats. Impose confiscatory taxes on gas and electricity. Make you take the bus to work. Impose huge regulation on businesses.

The Republicans don’t think that way — and, if you notice, McCain won the debate on energy this year hands down. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Tell people “I want to reduce global warming by building safe nuclear power plants and help auto manufacturers develop an SUV that gets 35 highway mpg, not by making you take the bus and freeze in your houses this winter,” and you’ll get a much more positive response than saying “they’re all lying to you about global warming!”

Outlander on November 14, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Social issues are a losing issue. Republicans should take a hands off approach to these issues and let the states decide what’s best. Not constitutional ammendments.

Some of you wouldn’t be happy unless abortion is totally banned. That’s not going to happen. Ever. Let’s just face up to reality instead of pandering the religious nutjobs.

therightwinger on November 14, 2008 at 1:10 PM

If Huck has taught us anything, it’s that a lot of people are willing to overlook a lot of fiscal populism in the name of the pro-life agenda.

We need someone who is going to articulate forcefully the natural law argument against abortion if we’re going to have any chance of reuniting those who support limited government and those who believe government should ban abortion.

Vatican Watcher on November 14, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Apparently, they weren’t too concerned about the equivocations.

As pro-life organizations go, the NRLC usually isn’t.

manwithblackhat on November 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM

“BTW. There are plenty of Protestant and conservative blacks that are against abortion. Just FYI.”
ThackerAgency

FYI, abortion is just ONE issue on the conservative platform. I wonder who among all these black conservative Protestants you would support…FYI: none of them would come close to Michael Steele.
I’m not religious but I have no problem with Catholics, why do you reject them? How about Mormons? Do you hate Romney too?

Christine on November 14, 2008 at 1:30 PM

I love it when people say the Republican party is a “regional” party. How stupid. Look at the vote totals in the northeast and upper midwest(Mich., Il., In., Wisc., Oh., Penn., Ny.). The northeast and upper midwest regions are DYING or DEAD regions BECAUSE of their state and local governments taxing business and individuals to death!! WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS NOT SUSTAINABLE UNLESS THE FEDS BAIL THEM OUT.

More and more people will leave those regions and their power in the US House of Reps will diminish. Look for a dramatic change in numbers after the next census.

Abortion as a litmus test? Anybody, yes, anybody who votes for a person who believes in infanticide, like Obama does,
ought to burn in hell.

dragonash on November 14, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Can’t we have both Steele and Gingrich?

chunderroad on November 14, 2008 at 2:55 PM

I love Steele. I love him!
I still think Newt would be better tho.
If Steele wants the gig, he better step up to the plate and attack it! I want him to be aggresive and hard core. If he can do it with a smile—GREAT!

bUT IF ALL HE DOES IS SMILE….GET OFF THE STAND AND LET SOMEONE WHO WILL GO ON OFFENSE TAKE THE POSITION.

Handel on November 14, 2008 at 3:39 PM

AGAIN, I can’t stress this strongly enough, Michael Steele is a RINO, his stance on gun bans, Affirmative Action and Roe V Wade are skewed and RINOs are exactly what got the RNC into this mess in the first place! FIND AN ACTUAL CONSERVATIVE FOR THE RNC CHAIR.

nelsonknows on November 14, 2008 at 4:13 PM

I know many blacks who are strongly anti-abortion yet voted for obambi because he is black. i tried to tell them about his infanticide issue, but they didn’t listen.

kelley in virginia on November 14, 2008 at 4:41 PM

Joan of Argghh on November 14, 2008 at 11:58 AM

I really dislike BS like this. Why does anyone care what people think or polls say about the leader of the RNC? I don’t pick my leaders based on how outsiders perceive them. I pick leaders because they are the best qualified, alpha male/female, well-spoken, and clear on ideology or conservative ideas as you can get from the names on the list. I’m going to throw a great politically and tactically well versed leader over board because of what people might say about the color of his skin? Are you fraking kidding me? That’s what they do on the other side of the aisle, not here lady!

Micheal Steele stepped up to the plate and offered himself up for service to your Party. HE’S ASKING FOR THE JOB!!! To ignore him and this fact plus his request to simply have you take a look at him and what he has to offer is to be truly stupid and ungrateful for what you have and grasping at straws for something you don’t have, which I like to refer to as a BACKBONE!

Sultry Beauty on November 14, 2008 at 5:17 PM