Steele Makes Romney’s Mormonism Political
Yes, he apparently is the gift that keeps on giving. (His words, not mine.)
Here’s what Steele said today in answer to a caller on Bill Bennett’s show:
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.
It’s about ten pounds of dumb in a five pound bag for the Chairman of the Republican National Committee to go around saying stuff like that. Especially since Romney is a clear frontrunner in 2012 and quite possibly the Republicans’ best chance at getting into the White House.
If Steele were a political pundit, it would be a different story. But he’s not and he should know better.
Obviously, Romney is none too pleased:
“Sometimes when you shoot from the hip, you miss the target,” said Romney spokesman Eric Ferhnstrom. “This is one of those times.”
And already Republican pundits are calling for Steele to step down.
The party cannot afford to have its national committee chairman doubling as a controversial pundit. It’s time for Michael Steele to resign.
Itâ€™s one thing to be ineffective as chairman â€” losing NY-20, for instance, which wasnâ€™t really his fault â€” but itâ€™s another to beclown your way into becoming a national punchline. More than anything right now, the GOP needs to project competence and gravitas; Steeleâ€™s done the opposite, out-gaffeing even Biden over the past three months, with his klutzy digression about the baseâ€™s disdain for Mormonism just the latest example.
I have defended this guy at every turn. Or, well, most turns. This is the last straw. Michael Steele is the latest person who needs to learn the lesson It’s not all about you, dude.
He seems to believe that he is so magnificently charming and persuasive that he can gain voters by being overly candid and overly “interesting” as a speaker. And, if he had one quarter of the charisma he seems to believe he’s been blessed with, he might be right.
But he doesn’t, and he’s wrong. He’s not particularly charismatic and he does not have the skills to turn these dangerous statements into rapport-building assets. They just continue to gather on the ground like unexploded grenades.
No doubt there will be more follow-on tomorrow.