Republican Chairman Michael Steele Admits Mistakes, Rallies GOP
Steele's speech wrapped up the 3-day SRLC attended by about 3000 GOP activists and party leaders. It was his first public appearance since the media broke the story about questionable spending by the RNC, including $2000 for entertainment in a West Hollywood lesbian bondage club.
In spite of some Republican's calls for Steele's resignation, the RNC chairman told the audience, "I'm the first here to admit that I've made mistakes, and it's been incumbent on me to take responsibility, to shoulder that burden, make the necessary changes and move on."
In life, you realize very quickly that you can't please everyone. But you can certainly make them all mad at you at the same time," Steele said. "And that is a lesson well-learned. It is an opportunity as well. Because folks have been mad at us in the past and we have learned from that past, and we are now ready to move on to a brighter future."
Steele went on to say, "We can't coast into the majority, nor can we assume it's a sure thing. The liberal media are looking for any possible alternative narrative to tell . . .They are looking for those distractions, and Lord knows I've provided a few."
Former RNC Chairman and current Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour who described himself to CNN's John King on Tuesday as a "fat redneck" that "got an accent" emphasized cohesion in the Republican Party.
"We stick together," said, Barbour. "We've got to let the things that unite us be the things that guide us." Barbour added, "We cannot let ourselves be torn apart by the idea of purity."
Sen. Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania governor, told the SRLC audience, that when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress, "We let America down."
Santorum struck a note when he alluded to the federal government buildup under the Bush administration. "Conservatism didn't fail America, conservatives failed conservatism . . . . Let's be honest: we were guilty of more government when we were there."
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