CHARLOTTE—Former Republican National Committee Chairman and current MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele was roaming the concourse of the Time Warner Cable Arena hours before the Democratic National Convention gaveled to order on Thursday. Steele, who said he could be described as a libertarian-leaning Republican, made the case that libertarians should vote for the Republican Party's candidates and not the Democrats or Libertarians.
"I think the argument can be made honestly, looking at our libertarian roots in the party, that, ya know, government has its role, its purpose but it's limited in its power," he said.
Steele had to stop the interview frequently as conventiongoers repeatedly interrupted and wanted their picture taken with him. Steele took it all in stride.
He agreed that Obama has tossed aside his talk of softening the nation's approach to the war on drugs but said that it's just not a major issue.
"Put it in the proper context, it is not at forefront of people's minds right now. When you're unemployed it's just not something you're going to go to battle over and it's not just the war on drugs, it's abortion, and some of the other social issues," he said.
When asked if either party takes the drug war issue seriously he simply replied, "No."
Steele admires Gary Johnson but thinks the third party song and dance is tired because it's just not realistic in the current electoral system.
"I do appreciate what he is doing to get his message out there but at the same time we need to put everything in the right context and recognize what the opportunity is here," Steele said.