Spine of Steele! Where has this feisty Michael Steele been? In this NewsBuster's view, the former RNC chairman has too often been the voice of the mushy Republican middle.
But on MSNBC's All In this evening, Steele forcefully advanced the GOP cause. For starters, Steele shocked guest host Alex Wagner when he said Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in a debate. Steele then took on Howard Dean, mocking the former DNC chairman when he claimed Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz "know nothing" about foreign policy. For good measure, Michael accused Dean of "shilling for Hillary." Say it, Steele!
HOWARD DEAN: Hillary Clinton knows more about public policy than anybody in the race. Particularly anybody on the Republican side. But you do have to stand up to bullies, and I think the American people want to see that. And that's I think the purpose of her discussion about Trump and his recruitment of ISIS people. I think ultimately she goes back to the high ground and back to policy, which is her strength and which of course is what people want to see in a President of the United States.
MICHAEL STEELE: Well, she clearly doesn't seem to know that much if she thinks that we are where we need to be with ISIS. And I think those types of slip-ups by Hillary Clinton --
DEAN: She never said, that Michael.
STEELE: Yes she did, she did say that.
ALEX WAGNER: She said we were in a different and better place in the debate last Saturday, Chairman Steele. But when it comes down to brass tacks -- wait. Because if there is a match-up between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the debate stage, I mean, where's your money at?
STEELE: Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?
STEELE: On a debate stage?
WAGNER: Really?! Talk more about that.
STEELE: Well, because Hillary's not going to -- Hillary won't go there. And if you look at -- if you look at the effective debaters on the stage on the GOP side, someone like a Ted Cruz, a Marco Rubio, their engagement -- they're just as sophisticated and smart on the issues as a Hillary Clinton is. But even in trying to go up against trump --
DEAN: They know nothing. Are you kidding me?
STEELE: Excuse me? I think very much so.
DEAN: I said they know nothing. Are you kidding me?
STEELE: No, I'm not kidding you. I think they know quite a bit.
DEAN: About what?
STEELE: We can have that debate if you want. I'm not going to sit here and debate the intelligence of these individuals. I'm just listening to their --
DEAN: I didn't say they were stupid. I just said they didn't know anything.
STEELE: Well, that's saying something about their intelligence. And I think it's hard -- I think you'd be hard pressed, Howard, to say that Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and all the other Republicans on that stage don't know anything about foreign policy or domestic policy --
DEAN: Michael, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in particular have been playing hooky from the United States Senate for a year. Ted Cruz is one of the most despised people in the United States Senate. That's a fact.
STEELE: I know you're shilling for Hillary right now. Stop it.