Michael Steele has stirred up controversy again, this time for delivering a critical analysis of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The background is that he was guest hosting Bill Bennett’s radio show when a caller named “Jay” phoned in and suggested Romney would have defeated Barack Obama if liberals hadn’t raided the Republican primary and made John McCain the nominee. Steele pushed back:
Yeah, but let me ask you. Ok, Jay, I’m there with you. But remember, it was the base that rejected Mitt because of his switch on pro-life, from pro-choice to pro-life. It was the base that rejected Mitt because it had issues with Mormonism. It was the base that rejected Mitch, Mitt, because they thought he was back and forth and waffling on those very economic issues you’re talking about. So, I mean, I hear what you’re saying, but before we even got to a primary vote, the base had made very clear they had issues with Mitt because if they didn’t, he would have defeated John McCain in those primaries in which he lost.
Now, I was critical of Romney during the campaign, agree that he was ultimately rejected by the base, and don’t think he would have stood a chance against Obama. But Jay Cost is absolutely correct when he writes that, “none of these comments should be coming from the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.” In my view, it’s particularly inappropriate for Steele to bring up Romney’s Mormonism.
We saw this with the controversies over his abortion and Rush Limbaugh comments. Steele does’t seem to comprehend that being the chairman of the RNC is not about him, it’s about representing an organization. So now, instead of focusing his attention on fighting Obama and the Democrats, Steele will have to spend the next few days putting out another intra-party fire.
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