POLITICS

Steele Suffers Another Temporal Lapse, Claims To Not Have Been RNC Chair During Ensign Scandal

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has apparently been spending too much time in the hot tub time machine in which he composed his temporally-unstuck book of recollections. In a taped interview with Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston for a forthcoming edition of "Face To Face With Jon Ralston," Steele was asked a hypothetical question about Republican Senator John Ensign's affair, and whether or not he'd be outraged if a Democratic senator had indulged in similar behavior. Steele, initially unable to surmise that it was John Ensign that Ralston was talking about, eventually begged off, claiming he had no opinion on the matter because he wasn't chairman at the time.

[WATCH]

RALSTON: Let me ask you, if you were chairman of the Republican party, and a Democratic senator had an affair with a staffer, had his parents pay her off, fired both her and her husband who worked for him and then tried to get the husband jobs, you'd be outraged, wouldn't you?

STEELE: I don't know. Who is, who is the individual you're talking about?

RALSTON: The individual happens to be John Ensign. I was just putting the shoe on the other foot. You haven't said anything about John Ensign because he's one of yours. You're Mr. Double Standard.

STEELE: Really?

RALSTON: You are.

STEELE: Is that how you take that?

RALSTON: I'm asking ya.

STEELE: I wasn't chairman of the party at the time all that took place so I have no opinion on it.

RALSTON: What are you talking about? It took place last year.

STEELE: I wasn't chairman of the party.

It was up to Ralston, apparently, to tell Steele that Ensign was doing "poorly" at the polls.

Unless Steele is somehow claiming that the scandal doesn't concern him because he wasn't chairman while the actual affair was happening, his statement is absolutely ridiculous. Steele was elected RNC chairman on Jan. 30, 2009. Ensign admitted his affair on June 16, 2009, and the New York Times reported on the potential ethical problems of his efforts to get Hampton a job on Oct. 1, 2009.

Maybe this is an odd question, but is it possible that Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, did not notice or have an opinion on how it came to pass that one of the people thought to be in line for a run at the White House suddenly became someone who would not be making a run for the White House, not ever?

PREVIOUSLY, on the HUFFINGTON POST:
John Ensign Scandal Escalates: "It's Not Good"

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