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March 16, 2009

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."

Posted by David Nitkin at 4:45 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Michael Steele


Very funny Michael Steele! It's especially funny when your party was just thumped largely because you ran a VP candidate that gave everyone with a brain the impression she was illiterate and ignorant. Way to fight the perception that she represents the rest of the party. And people wonder why I voted Democrat for the first time in my life.

Is disputing GW a sin now? Does it disqualify you far anything?

Is it not disputable?

If he really believes that Greenland used to be "green" and now is colder than before, he needs some educating.

But I'm sure he also doesn't care that he's wrong, so long as what he says makes the point that he wants to make -- that because Democrats are concerned about global warming, Republicans must deny its existence.

After I read the post I didn't need to look at the author to say this is a David Nitkin hit piece. Yes David, Michael Steele is a blooming idiot because you found a situation where he drew chuckles by saying Greenland once used to be green. By that token, Obama admitted he is pursuing a socialist agenda. He did say it once, albeit in a joking fashion.

Leave the bias at the door, David.


David responds:

John -- We're trying to disseminate interesting statements, comments and news tidbits about Steele and other political figures with Maryland connections. It's not a "hit piece" -- it's a blog posting drawing attention to some Steele comments that first appeared elsewhere.

Judging from the comments, global warming is worthy of debate, and attracts strong opinions. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Combating climate change may not be a question of who will carry the burden but could instead be a rush for the benefits, according to new economic modeling presented at “Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions” hosted by the University of Copenhagen.

Contrary to current cost models for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change, a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge conclude that even very stringent reductions of can create a macroeconomic benefit, if governments go about it the right way.

“Where many current calculations get it wrong is in the assumption that more stringent measures will necessarily raise the overall cost, especially when there is substantial unemployment and underuse of capacity as there is today”, explains Terry Barker, Director of Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge and a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Congress.

jds, Greenland WAS greener and had farming going on at one time in the recent past.

"The mild climatic period was fairly short-lived in geologic terms - by about 1200 AD, the ever-increasing cold was making life extremely difficult, and some years no supply ships were able to reach Greenland through the ice-choked seas. During this period, Norway has assumed responsibility for supplying the Norse settlers in Greenland, but as the climate worsened it became a very difficult task. "

You sir should look into the history, NOT Mr. Steele.

Iceland? Do you thing the Chairman has heard of volcanoes and geysers?

"Trust me. Not me, baby. Not happenin.' "No way, no how."

This is the kind of lingo I have problems with with Michael Steele.

Why lower the playing field when we have already hit rock bottom? The game of selling out for the sake of votes is what 'they' do, not me.

If my kid talked like this to me? I would send him back out on the streets of Washington, D.C.

Yes, Greenland has just a tiny bit of green, and in the past had a tiny bit more, but it's mostly ice now and was mostly ice then. It was not "called Greenland for a reason" -- at least not that reason. In fact, no-one knows if it was originally called "Greenland" at all, or if it was a mistranslation.

My college world history prof said that Iceland and Greenland had their names "reversed" to encourage more settlers to go the farther distance to Greenland. I don't think he was correct about that, but it's an amusing story, anyway.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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