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John McCain: Michael Steele Needs to 'Assess' Whether He Can Stay in His Job

4 years ago
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Criticism of Michael Steele by fellow Republicans continued Sunday with Sen. John McCain, the GOP standbearer in 2008, saying that Steele will have to "assess" whether he can still lead the party after the furor over his remarks on Afghanistan.

On Thursday, Steele had said at a political event in Connecticut that the war in Afghanistan might not be winnable and to "keep in mind, for our federal candidates, this is a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."

Steele has tried to defuse the criticism that immediately came from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats by issuing a statement on the Republican National Committee site saying that while the current strategy in Afghanistan was set by Obama, "our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war.

John McCain, Michael SteeleBut McCain said on ABC's This Week that Steele's original remarks were "wildly inaccurate, and there's no excuse for them." He added that Steele had e-mailed him, saying they were misconstrued.

"The fact is that I think that Mr. Steele is going to have to assess as to whether he can still lead the Republican Party as chairman of the Republican National Committee and make an appropriate decision," said McCain, speaking from Kabul where he is visiting with a congressional delegation.

On Fox News Sunday, South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint also described Steele's remarks as "inaccurate" as well as "unacceptable," and said "Chairman Steele needs to apologize to our military, all the men and women who've been fighting in Afghanistan. This is America's war. It's not Obama's war."

DeMint's South Carolina Republican colleague, Lindsey Graham, said on CBS' Face the Nation that he was "dismayed, angry, upset" over Steele's remarks and called them "uninformed, unnecessary, unwise, untimely."

Asked if Steele should resign, Graham said, "It's up to him to see if he can lead the Republican Party after this comment. I'm going to leave it up to the Republican National Committee."

DeMint also wouldn't say if Steele should step down. "Whether or not he resigns is up to other people than me. But I need to see him focused on this November election, which is important because the Democrat Party is running our country in a ditch with the economy, our job situation, the debt situation. We need a chairman who's focused. "
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124 Comments

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Rob

Who is John McCain to tell someone else to take a look at their status? I respect Mr. Mcain for his military service, but his service as a senator has been marred by his inability to hear his people. How many times is this man going to be allowed to change his stance on an issue, before the people say ENOUGH? We are tired of "poll"atitians that say what they need to say to get elected and then do what they want. Like it or not...we the people elect you to serve us. We do not now, nor will we ever serve you. You were sent to D.C. to be our voice, not your own.

July 13 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bthered

McCain is a world class NeoCon....The Afghanistan War is a NeoCons Dream, a war that will never end. To give Obama credit for such a stroke of genuis is an insult to the NeoCons.

July 06 2010 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hider51210

Note to John McCain: The citizen's of Arizona are going to assess whether you should retire. Looks bad for you.

July 06 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
extpd311

McCain needs to reassess whether his opinion is relevant anymore! He has spent so many years trying to straddle the fence that he is impotent and useless now. Its time for him to be replaced by someone who spends less time trying to get the media's attention, and more time doing the work in Washington!

July 05 2010 at 11:04 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
gws5

We need someone to get this country back on track and not someone who is going to spout negatives when we have soldiers lives in the balance. He should resign and get someone who thinks before they speak.

July 05 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
enorcel

Keep your eye on the ball....for this upcoming election in November...we need a strong Republican for the Senate race in Arizona..... McCain is too much like a loose cannon ball....Steele is by far the better choice.....pay no heed to the bad publicity thrown at Steele..... We need Steele to stop Obama's destructive policies...

July 05 2010 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
archergman

Steele's behavior is becoming increasingly unpredictable, unbecoming, and outrageous. I think he is a closet liberal and is throwing the game on purpose. The longer he stays at the head of the GOP, the more damage he can do to help dems in the mid-terms.

July 04 2010 at 10:46 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
rmg1410

There would be no conversatin about Afghanistan if Pres. Bush had allowed the Army to kill or capture Osama bin Laden when he was cornered at Tora Bora. Instead of allowing the Army to kill him he decided to use 9-11 as an excuse to go after Saddam.

July 04 2010 at 8:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ruffie

I have read Steele's statement over and over and I can't find any reason why it's causing such a fuss. He's not the first one to question if the war can be won and it is Obama's war. Obama is the president and he's the one who thought it was more important to be fighting in Afghanistan. In fact when Obama increased the troops in Afghanistan, many people said it now became Obama's war. So what am I missing or am I just reading it wrong?

July 04 2010 at 8:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Ruffie

I have read Steele's statement over and over and I can't find any reason why it's causing such a fuss. He's not the first one to question if the war can be won and it is Obama's war. Obama is the president and he's the one who thought it was more important to be fighting in Afghanistan. In fact when Obama increased the troops in Afghanistan, many people said it now became Obama's war. So what am I missing or am I just reading it wrong?

July 04 2010 at 8:47 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

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