Steele on RNC chair loss after successful midterms: ‘Republican Justice’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
Font Size:

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele isn’t going quietly into the night.

Since losing his reelection bid for chairman, Steele has been on a media tour of sorts. On Thursday, he appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and on Friday he went on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Steele was asked about his loss by show host Bill Maher.

“You know you – you, as GOP chairman, while you were chairman the Republicans had their biggest victory ever – 63 seats,” Maher said. “Your reward for that was that you got fired?”

Steele sort of mocked the loss, but he boasted about how far the Republican Party had come during his stint as chairman.

Republican justice,” Steele replied. “You know the reality of it is – oops – no I don’t want to walk that back. What we did was we came in, remember two years ago, three years ago now – you had a party that was on the front cover of Time magazine as an endangered species. We couldn’t find people to run for office let alone claim they were Republican. So the reality of it was we went out around the country, we built it from the bottom-up. We went back to our grassroots. We engaged folks in their communities.”


Steele cited one his trips – to the Harlem section of Manhattan, where Republican voters are few in numbers, with a goal of winning them over.

“One of the first trips I took as RNC chairman was to Harlem,” Steele continued. “I remember one of the members saying, ‘Why are you going to Harlem?’ I said, ‘Because there are voters there.’”

That, according to Steele, was part of his strategy – to get outside of the GOP’s “comfort zone.”

“But the reality of it is, the party needs to get outside of its comfort zone, to engage people where they are and that’s what I tried to do for two years is take the party to the streets of America,” Steele said. “We won, but they wanted to do something different.”