Earlier this year, RNC chair Michael Steele dismissed Rush Limbaugh as an “entertainer” whose “thing” is “incendiary” and “ugly.” Steele later apologized to Limbaugh after enormous conservative backlash. (But soon after, Steele said the dust-up with Limbaugh was part of his grand strategy).
Last week, local Missouri conservative radio host Vincent Jericho asked Steele about the confrontation with Limbaugh. “Did you get sucked into that?” Jericho asked. “Absolutely,” Steele replied. “In my job as national chairman, I’m trying to heal the party, not create divisions.” Yet later in the interview, Steele appeared to create more divisions within GOP. Steele told Jericho he agreed “1,000%” with his assertion that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and other Republican congressional leaders are “an abosolute freakin’ joke”:
VINCENT JERICHO: For god’s sake’s the Republican Party is supposed to stand for something why don’t they stand up and lead? Because some of the leadership, with Boehner and some of these other guys, they’re a joke. You can’t say anything. But they’re an absolute freaking joke.
STEELE: I’m with you. I’m 1,000% with you. I agree with you. I absolutely agree with you.
Sam Stein reports that spokespeople from both Boehner’s office and the RNC “insisted that Steele’s comments were directed at the broad direction of the GOP and not the minority leader himself.”
But Steele’s troubles with the GOP leadership in Congress didn’t end with Boehner. Later in the interview, Jericho lambasted Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO):
[Blunt] screwed around with a tobacco lobbyist. Then slips language into the homeland security bill favorable to the tobacco lobbyist. I mean here is a guy that has committed adultery multiple times. Yet he had a senior position, and still does, in the Republican Party. Guys like Papa Blunt make us sick to our stomach. They aren’t conservatives, and they sure don’t reflect moral absolutes the way that we expect the Republican Party to stand up.
“I agree with you,” Steele responded. “And when stuff gets in the crapper, you gotta clean it out.”