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Steele On Rush Flap: "It's All Strategic"

And then came this exchange, when he insisted that his public face-off with Rush Limbaugh was all part of his plan -- to scope out the state of the Republican field, and see who was with him or against him:

Steele: I am very introspective about things. I don't do -- I am a cause and effect kind of guy. So if I do something, there's a reason for it. Even, it may look like a mistake, a gaffe. There is a rationale, there's a logic behind it.

Lemon: Even with the current events in news--

Steele: Yeah.

Lemon: There's a rationale behind Rush, all that stuff?

Steele: Yup. Yup.

Lemon: You want to share it with us?

Steele: Sure, I want to see what the landscape looks like. I want to see who yells the loudest, I wanted to know who says they're with me but really isn't.

Lemon: How does that help you?

Steele: It helps me understand my position on the chess board. It helps me understand, you know, where the enemy camp is and where those who are inside the tent are.

Lemon: It's all strategic?

Steele: It's all strategic.

Let's take him at his word for a second. You might recall that the Limbaugh flap ended in Steele making a quick apology and praising Limbaugh's leadership. So if the point of Steele's exercise really was to determine his own place on the chess board -- well, Bobby Fischer he isn't.