From NBC's Domenico Montanaro and Kelly Paice
NBC's Andrea Mitchell interviewed Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.
Here is some of what Steele had to say about Sarah Palin. A clip is below with text after the jump.
STEELE: I don't know what her decision-making is or what 2012 or 2014 or any year looks like for her. She'll make that decision and when she does we'll all kind of go, 'Oh, that's interesting.' Or not, ya know? I think what you see now are people having a chance to tell the rest of the country how they feel about her. And she's someone who's going to be a part of our political future as a party and I think that's a good thing.
STEELE: I still am mystified by the fact that people look at this woman who was a successful mayor, a successful energy person for Alaska, a successful governor and think that she doesn't have the gravitas to do it.
STEELE: I find it offensive that, you know, she steps down for what I think is a good reason and, 'Oh, she quit!' like that's a bad thing.
STEELE: You know, give the woman a break. She has been under an enormous amount of scrutiny. The disrespect shown to her, I don't think we've ever seen in politics before -- certainly for a female candidate. And I think people really need to check themselves when they come to Sarah Palin.
STEELE: She beat back the political system in that state which is, which is...
MITCHELL: Well, she did quit after half a term as governor...
STEELE: Oh, please.
MITCHELL: She did quit...
STEELE: Yeah, I mean she did the smart thing in stepping down because she became more of the focus for her state -- a distraction because of what folks were trying to say and write about her, and it interfered with her ability to lead.