WASHINGTON (CNN) - The new chairman of the Republican National Committee praised House Republicans Saturday for their universal opposition to President Obama's stimulus bill and used his family's own life experiences to justify voting against it.
Click here to listen to Steele remarks Saturday.
"I know we're living in the era of bipartisanship," Steele joked to the House GOP congressmen who gathered this weekend to discuss policy and politics. "I thought it was very important to send a signal, and you sent it loudly, very clearly, that this party, the leadership of this caucus, would stand first and foremost with the American people. You made it very clear that in order to grow through this recession that you not redistribute the wealth of the people of this nation."
The former Maryland lieutenant governor specifically spoke about his mother as he slammed the Obama plan.
"My mom was a sharecropper's daughter with a fifth-grade education," Steele said. "And my mother knew how to balance the budget without taking money out of my pocket."
Steele drew cheers from the crowd when he pledged the GOP would re-take the majority in Congress, beginning with the fight over New York's 20th congressional district - recently vacated by the state's newly-named senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. She defeated GOP Rep. John Sweeney in 2006.
"I'm in the business of winning elections," said Steele. But he also noted that he was unsuccessful in his 2006 bid for the Senate.
"As a black Roman Catholic conservative from Washington, D.C., and Maryland, I also know how to lose elections," he said.