Michael Steele On Punishing 3 GOP Senators: 'I'm Always Open To Everything, Baby'

Neil Cavuto pressed Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on whether the RNC was going to punish the three Republican Senators -- Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter and Susan Collins -- who voted for Obama's economic-stimulus package:

Cavuto: ... What retribution will you exact?

Steele: Look, my retribution is the retribution of the voters in their states. They're going to have to go through a primary in which they're going to have to explain to those Republican voters in that primary their vote.

Cavuto: I know that, but will you as RNC head recommend no RNC funds being provided to help them?

Steele: That is something I will talk to the state parties about and I will follow their lead.

Cavuto: So in other words, are you open to that, Michael?

Steele: Oh yeah, I'm always open to everything, baby, absolutely.

Cavuto: So -- by being open to that baby, does that mean you would consider punishing them for that vote?

Steele: My responsibility is to follow the lead of the state parties, to get their advice, what their intent is. Those senators are going to have to account to those voters there.

If there were any serious likelihood the state parties would actually take on their senators over an issue in which polls show the voters are actually on the side of the "traitors," this might be an actual warning shot for straying Republicans. Certainly the mighty ideological-purity guardians at Red State seem to think so.

Then again, their grasp on reality hasn't been so firm these days.

But it sure is fun watching Republicans try to figure out that "big tent" thing.

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