Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is under fire from conservatives over comments he made about President Obama and the Afghanistan war. Here's what he said at a fundraiser Thursday in Connecticut --
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MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: This was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United State had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.... Well, if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed.
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Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and a Fox News contributor, is calling on Steele to resign. He writes in an open letter, "Your comment is more than an embarrassment. It's an affront -- both to the honor of the Republican Party and to the commitment of the soldiers fighting."
The RNC is not specifically addressing the controversy, but calls Steele a consistent and vocal supporter of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A new poll shows three in 10 Americans describe themselves as Tea Party supporters, equal to the number who call themselves Republicans. The USA Today Gallup poll also says that while whites and Anglos make up the bulk of the Tea Party movement, Hispanics, Asian Americans and African-Americans combine to make up almost one-quarter of its ranks.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says his bipartisan stance on a range of issues has put him at odds with the Tea Party. The New York Times Magazine reports Graham dissed the movement, saying, "The problem with the Tea Party -- I think it's just unsustainable. It will die out."
Graham also addresses a recent incident in which a Tea Party speaker suggested Graham was working with Democrats out of fear they would expose him as homosexual. Graham replied with a smirk, saying, "Like maybe I'm having a clandestine affair with Ricky Martin. I ain't available. I ain't gay. Sorry."
That Tingly Feeling
MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews famously got a thrill up his leg during candidate Obama's speech on race two-and-a-half years ago. Apparently it's contagious.
Fellow MSNBC anchor Alex Witt said twice Thursday, "I got a few chills" -- during the president's immigration speech. She also said the speech was "very heavy on detail and direction." The Washington Post, not exactly a conservative paper, didn't feel the same, writing, "the president did not outline any details for reform or set a timetable for a reform bill."