UPDATE: Juicy Republican reactions are below the fold.

Tony Perkins on Michael Steele’s statement in an interview in GQ about abortion that it is an individual choice.

“I expressed my concerns to the chairman earlier this week about previous statements that were very similar in nature. He assured me as chairman his views did not matter and that he would be upholding and promoting the Party platform, which is very clear on these issues,” Perkins said. “It is very difficult to reconcile the GQ interview with the chairman’s pledge.”

Apperently, according to the article, Perkins, who paid former KKK Wizard and self-proclaimed head of the “European American” movement, David Duke, $82K for his mailing list in 1996, is going to speak to “Playa”  Steele directly and take him to the fundie woodshed.

Steele’s already backing off:

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele – already under fire from some in the GOP over his turbulent first month at the helm of the party – looked to ease conservative concerns Thursday over his comments suggesting abortion is an “individual choice.”

“I am pro-life, always have been, always will be,” Steele said in a statement. “I tried to present why I am pro life while recognizing that my mother had a ‘choice’ before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life. The strength of the pro life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances.”

…”The Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life,” Steele also said in the statement. “I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law.”

Wait, how is it a choice to be left to the states if you make a fetus a citizen?  Mike Huckabee:

Comments attributed to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele are very troubling and despite his clarification today the party stands to lose many of its members and a great deal of its support in the trenches of grassroots politics. Since 1980, our party has been steadfast and principled in believing in the dignity and worth of every human life. We have supported a Constitutional amendment to protect life and the party has taken the position that no one individual has the supreme right to own another person in totality including the right to take that life. For Chairman Steele to even infer that taking a life is totally left up to the individual is not only a reversal of Republican policy and principle, but it's a violation of the most basic of human rights–the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His statement today helps, but doesn't explain why he would ever say what he did in the first place.

Ken Blackwell:

"Chairman Steele, as the leader of America's Pro-Life conservative party, needs to re-read the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, and the 2008 GOP Platform. He then needs to get to work — or get out of the way.

Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition:

“I’m a little surprised that Michael Steele, being the leader of the Republican Party, is at odds with the pro-life platform, the platform that conservative put in place… If this is his viewpoint, he has made it be known. I’m just surprised that the leader of the party is at odds with the pro-life platform.”

Evangelical leader Lou Engle: “Steele’s argument that abortion is a matter of “individual choice” is extremely disappointing, especially in light of past statements in which he promised to protect and defend human life. “Steele’s remarks to GQ indicate that he may be confused about “choice” and the “law.” The law is supposed to protect human life, not permit the taking of it. And, it can never be a “choice” for an individual to take a life.”

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding