RNC chairman Michael Steele defended Sarah Palin today, urging the media to "give the woman a break."

"She's someone who's going to be a part of our political future as a party and that's a good thing," Steele told MSNBC. "I'm excited about it."

Steele's response to Palin resigning as governor:

"I thought it was a smart move for her to make so she can focus on the future and let Alaska focus on its future without her leadership being a distraction to the good people of the state."

On Palin's qualifications to run for national office:

"I'm still mystified by the fact that people look at this woman who was a successful mayor, a successul energy person for Alaska, a successful governor, and they think she doesn't have the gravitas to do it."

On the media's treatment of Palin:

"Give the woman a break. She's been under an enoromous amount of scrutiny. The disrespect shown to her I don't think we've evern seen in politics before, certainly for a female candidate. And I think people need to check themselves when it comes to Sarah Palin."