Top Republicans Pile On Steele, Call For His Ouster

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Republicans are furious with RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who was caught on camera saying that the war in Afghanistan is a doomed effort launched by President Obama. Steele has no shortage of enemies in the GOP and many of them sense an opportunity here. In fact, several, both privately and publicly, are saying this is the last straw: Steele should resign.

“Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not ‘a war of Obama’s choosing,'” reads an open letter to Steele from Weekly Standard editor and influential GOP voice Bill Kristol.

It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort. Indeed, as the DNC Communications Director (of all people) has said, your statement “puts [you] at odds with about 100 percent of the Republican Party.”

….There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they’re certainly entitled to make their case. But one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the Republican party.

In an interview this afternoon, a livid, top GOP operative put it more bluntly. “This is the height of stupidity and epitomizes the problem that is Michael Steele.”

A separate GOP operative passed along a comment Steele issued late last year when President Obama agreed — as Republicans were pressuring — to send additional troops to Afghanistan.

I’m told that more high profile Republicans — operatives and electeds — will come forward shortly with condemnations, and even demands of resignation, later today. Stay tuned.

And don’t miss this classic slideshow of Steele and the RNC interns.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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