Michael Steele filled in for radio host Bill Bennett’s show yesterday and once again put his foot in his mouth and got in trouble again when he tried to remove it. This time it wasn’t Rush Limbaugh who he apologized for criticizing but President Barack Obama.
OBAMA [audiotape]: I’ve made a firm commitment that health care reform will not add to the federal budget deficit over the next decade.
STEELE: [shouting] LIAR! Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. We need to stand up and say this. Come on!
Here’s his apology.
STEEEL: I get hotheaded from time to time, so I just want to let folks know that in the last segment, I went a little strong in my response to the president’s comment, and I don’t want to go there. Because that’s not what this is about. … For all those folks out there who want to go start blogging, uh, just calm it down, you know. RNC chairman’s not trying to be crazy first thing in the morning.
Now he denies his apology
CALLER: Well I’ve been listening to you, and earlier you called the president a liar, and I said, Yeah, he’s finally got there! He’s finally decided to tell them how it is! And then you apologized —
STEELE: No I didn’t apologize! … Look, I’ve got to be mindful of my, quote, position and so forth. I always took great offense to the fact that the Democrats disparaged President Bush. They disrespected the man, and they disrespected the office that the man held. And I’ve said from the beginning of my chairmanship that we did not want to do that. … I’m not backing off of the fact that I think there’s a lot of misdirection, and there’s not a whole lot of honesty that’s being laid out there for the American people.