For the past several years Michael Steele has been a fixture on cable news and one of the most outspoken – and entertaining – critics of twice impeached, one term former president Donald Trump. The former Maryland lieutenant governor also hasn’t held back on his criticism of the Republican Party he used to head or GOP lawmakers for their slavish sycophancy to Trump. He was an advisor to the anti-Trump Republican group The Lincoln Project.
Saying that he wants the GOP to “stand and fight” for the values that he believes it abandoned in favor of Trump-ism, Steele currently is giving “very serious consideration” to running for governor of Maryland next year. In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Steele says that he is engaged in “due diligence” to assess his prospects. Current Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, who also has been a sharp critic of Trump and his policies, is barred by term limits from seeking a third term.
The 62-year-old Steele said he refuses to become disheartened by the current direction of the GOP under Trump’s presidency. “When people ask me why are you still a Republican, I say, ‘Because I know it pisses them off,’ ” Steele told The Sun. “Hell yeah, there have been days that I go ‘What are you thinking? Why are you pushing this boulder up Mount Everest?’ ” Steele said. “The question is, do you just walk away from that and say [to Republicans], ‘OK, you guys have at it, I’m done’? Or do you at least stand and fight for those ideas a little bit longer?”
He uses the following metaphor to explain his decision to remain a Republican in the Trump era.
“If you come to my house and, in the course of being there, you start tearing up my carpet and writing on my walls and breaking my fine china, do I throw you out or do I leave? It’s my house, too,” he said.