Steele dismisses global warming
Michael Steele hosted Bill Bennett's radio show on March 6, and engaged in a lively dialogue over global warming and other issues.
As reported by Domenico Montanaro of MSNBC, Steele pointed to the name of Greenland as evidence of cyclical climate changes.
"We are cooling," Steele said, according to MSNBC. "We are not warming. The warming you see out there, the supposed warming, and I use my fingers as quotation marks, is part of the cooling process. Greenland, which is covered in ice, it was once called Greenland for a reason, right? Iceland, which is now green. Oh I love this. Like we know what this planet is all about. How long have we been here? How long? Not very long."
Steele insisted that he would not let Democratic critics get the best of him, or force him to resign as RNC chairman.
"Trust me. Not me, baby. Not happenin.' "No way, no how," he said to a caller
Read the full blog posting from MSNBC on the link below (or, to go to the Web site directly, follow the above link.)
Note: An earlier version of this post included an incorrect date for Steele's radio appearance.
How does the current RNC Chairman have the time to host a radio show?
Anyway, on the program, he was his usual boisterous, free-wheeling self.
"I've survived my first month of RNC Chairman," he proclaimed. He called charges against him "99% made up by our opponents," specifically CNN and MSNBC, who are trying to "blow things up."
He added that his tough week, spurred mostly by a GQ interview in which he called abortion an "individual choice," was "part of an orchestrated plan by [James] Carville and Rahm Emanuel. ... "It's been an instructive week." [Baltimore Sun editing note: the time references in this paragraph appear to be incorrect; Steele's comments in GQ were publicized several days after the radio appearance.]
Several conservatives criticized Steele after his "choice" comment, including Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell, who ran against Steele for RNC Chairman and whose backing may have put him over the top, ultimately.
Steele said Democrats are harping on Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett and other conservative talkers to distract.
"This is the noise," he said. "This is the distraction."
He said conservatives need to stay "focused" in the face of criticism. But he went on to criticize Republicans -- for putting earmarks in the budget, for not presenting enough original ideas and saying that Republicans need to stay true to conservative values or they could lose elections. (Steele had to backtrack from his own earlier comments, in which he implied that the RNC could support primary challengers to Republicans who don't adhere to conservative values.)
"Talk to me girl, go ahead," he said to a caller from Texas, who had confirmed with Lamar Alexander's office that he'd requested earmarks yet voted against the bill. "No, he didn't," Steele added.
To another caller, who said Republicans need new ideas, Steele responded, "[Y]ou're being too logical. ... That's way too easy."
Steele threw red meat out there for the conservative audience, saying the Obama administration is moving the country toward "Americanized socialism." And that they are "socializing" through a "Marxist mechanism." He likened Rahm Emanuel to Nixon's H.R. Haldeman.
Steele accused Obama and Democrats of talking down the economy during the 2008 campaign, thereby precipitating a downfall in the market. Now, though, he's not exactly Mr. Positive on the economy, as he warned that the U.S. is just at the beginning of the recession, not the middle.
He rollickingly refuted the existence of global warming. And as evidence, he uses Greenland, which "was once called Greenland for a reason, right?"
"We are cooling," Steele insisted. "We are not warming. The warming you see out there, the supposed warming, and I use my fingers as quotation marks, is part of the cooling process. Greenland, which is covered in ice, it was once called Greenland for a reason, right? Iceland, which is now green. Oh I love this. Like we know what this planet is all about. How long have we been here? How long? Not very long."
He also got the first name wrong of Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, calling him "Roberto."
But don't think Steele is giving up his seat any time soon. We've pointed out before that it's pretty difficult to force out a sitting RNC chairman. Two-thirds of its members would need to vote him out. And additionally, the optics of having parted ways with a Hispanic chairman and the first black chairman would not be good optics for the party.
A caller said he hopes "Begala doesn't convince you to resign," referring to former Clinton adviser Paul Begala (now a CNN analyst.)
Steele guffawed: "Trust me. Not me, baby. Not happenin.' "No way, no how."