February 7th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Steele questions if Democrats’ power ‘has gone to their heads’


Watch Steele give the Republican address.

(CNN) - Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, questioned whether Democrats’ power “has gone to their heads.”

In the weekly Republican address, Steele said of Congressional Democrats:

"For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.”

Steele said Republicans are ready to work with “reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America,” but he charged the Republican ideas have not been included.

"Good ideas - lots of them - all left out of this plan by the Democrats in Congress,” he said.

(Full text after the jump)

"This is Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Democrats have controlled both branches of government for less than a month. And you have to wonder if all that power has gone to their heads.

"For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.

"All of us – Republicans and Democrats – agree the government must act to kick-start the American economy. American families are doing their best to balance their own budgets and pay their mortgages.

"The fastest way to help those families is by letting them keep more of the money they earn. Individual empowerment: that's how you stimulate the economy.

"But the Democrats have a different philosophy. Instead of leaving money in the family checkbook, they want to send it to Washington, run it through a slow and inefficient government, and hope that does some good.

"When families keep the money, they spend it, save it, or invest it. And the private sector economy benefits when families and businesses buy consumer goods or invest it for the future. But when Washington spends the money, some of it may flow into the economy, but all too often, much gets wasted.

"Democrats in Congress want a one-trillion dollar spending bill. You've heard about the pork-barrel programs they want to fund - 45 million dollars for ATV trails and removal of fish passage barriers is one that caught my eye. Exactly what is a fish passage barrier and why does it cost 45 million dollars to stimulate the economy with it?

"That's why Republicans in the House voted against uncontrolled spending. This is not a bragging point, but rather a statement that at least Republicans would stand with the American taxpayer.

"But voting 'no' is not enough... and Republicans have offered innovative ideas to help struggling families and small businesses. We've offered plans to spark job creation and investment through lower taxes, to stop the taxation of unemployment benefits, and to help Americans keep their jobs and their homes.

"The comprehensive Republican plan would lower taxes for all working American families. If you're married, the first $16,750 you make this year will be taxed at ten percent. Why don't we cut that rate in half to give instant buying power to every working American family?

"Good ideas... lots of them... all left out of this plan by the Democrats in Congress.

"Republicans stand ready to work with reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America.

"But it will take more than bipartisan words from the President. It will require fair-minded action from Democrats in Congress.

"Thanks for listening."

Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (775 Responses)
  1. SS

    Of course it has, as well as yours did when you took on a position of power, duh!

    February 7, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Dolores

    Now, AFTER 8 years of GW Bush, the Republicans question someone's ego? The country would be a better place if the Repubs had asked that questions 8 years ago. Once again, they aren't/can't taking responsibilities for their actions. Get with the program and realize what the election results meant. Fools!

    February 7, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Gary

    At least the Republicans who feel "left out" got a chance to debate the bill. They only feel that way because the bill isn't exactly as they would have it- ALL TAX CUTS! That's proven to do nothing for the economy. In the 6 years prior to the Democrats having more control (it's a misinformed to say Democrats have had "control" of Congress the last 2 years because they've had barely a majority, NOT a filibuster proof majority, and Lieberman could hardly be considered a Dem), the Repbulicans basically shut the Dems out of all big or controversial debates. That's called a "a taste of your own medicine", Republikaaners!

    February 7, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. winkie

    the chairman of one of the most corrupt parties in the U.S. telling others how to act. Now thats funny.

    February 7, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. E Joyce

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having two parties with opposing points of view. BUT when a group of people CHOSEN TO REPRESENT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE ENTIRE NATION NOT JUST THEIR OWN AGENDA choose to ignore that responsibility and instead behave like little children who pout and throw tantrums because it's not their turn to play with the ball is beyond my comprehension and understanding. Let me say this as clearly as I can in hopes that you in Congress get it: this is not about YOU as individuals or about the respective party you are a part of. While ideology or luck got you the position, your responsibility is to represent all of the people and stop whining because you weren't included in this, that or the other process of making a decision. The whole notion of not supporting something because it wasn't your idea is ludicrous. Grow up, put on your big boy pants and get this done! Senator Lugar, Representative Buyer, I expect better from you.

    February 7, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Lunez32

    It's gone to his because his is gone.

    February 7, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Sue

    The Republicans are primarily responsible for this fiscal mess. The bad stuff happened on their watch. Like it or not they have been the party of uncontrolled spending for the past eight years. And since when have Republicans been "fair minded."

    They need to realize they are no longer the party in power and the American people deserve to see what this President can do. In my opinion (and I did not vote for him), he had already taken a much more pragmatic, sensible approach to our country's problems.

    February 7, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. James Johnston

    Just as a pride of lions will attack the weakest of the herd, so have the Democrats gone after the weakest of the Republican Party to adcance their stimulus package agenda

    February 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Gene Kannee

    Where were the reasonable Republicans that wanted to work with the
    Democrats when the Republicans were in power. There was no debated, just a rubber stamp of what Bush wanted. The TARP, 700B of which the Bush Secretay of Treasury gave 350B with no strings and no responsibilty. That is the Republican way.

    February 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. alvino

    What is really scary is that one out every three Americans agree with him.

    February 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. David Rausch

    Really? After 8 years, you question Dems egos? Really???

    February 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Lori

    I think it's the opposite. Power has gone to this guys head. I'm glad I changed parties. Proud to say no longer a Republican, but a Independent.

    February 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. George Joseph

    If you don't know what a fish barrier is how can you say its wasteful?

    Ha! Thanks for coming out and showing us your true colors.

    February 7, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. CHIPS

    The only power that has gone to anybody head is yours. Watch how quick the GOP throw you under the bus, just like Palin.

    February 7, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Dawn

    Enough already! Will you Republicans quit your whining? You lost on November 4, you've had the last 8 years to put your ideas to work and look where we are. I've listened to the debates and all I heard was the same whine I heard during the campaign! You didn't offer ideas then and you've not done it now!! I'm tired of it! Just go somewhere and lick your wounds will ya?

    February 7, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Michael

    A Republican has the gall to say the Dems power have gone to their head after the last 8 years? This after we were told to not question the Bush Admin or we were un-American? Or to hear Cheney arrogantly dismiss any criticism? Or to have Rumsfeld ignore the advice of many seasoned military leaders? Why do the Republicans feel the need to spout off with such ignorant statements just to stay in the spotlight? Want to show some real leadership? Shut up and just act properly.

    February 7, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. TK, Dallas, TX

    Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.

    February 7, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. catmom

    Is he kidding? I think Mr. Steele needs to step back and look at himself. It seems he thinks he is in the same league as the President and he is believing the hype that some Republicans have been feeding him.
    I think if you look at the past few days it is Republicans who think they have some sort of power. The power they seem to think they have is trying everything they can to see America fail and President Obama fail. It is not Mr. Steele they are listening to, it is Rush Limbaugh. Mr. Steele is just their way of pitting one black guy against another. Just like they did with Sarah Palin. And, just like Palin, it won't work.

    February 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Riversun

    Drill, drill, drill, lower taxes for the rich, lower taxes for the rich-that's all I hear from republicans. No money for education-yea keep the electorate dumb so they can be manipulated. Same OLD thing we heard from Bush & republicans. So much for bipartisanship. Nothing has changed on the republican side in Washington.

    February 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. I hate socialism

    Michael let hem own this WHOLE THING and when it DOES nothing, we can go about the business of throwing bums like Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd etc, etc out of office by giving people a rational alternative of MODERATE Republican ideas.

    I hate Rush, but what he actually said was if it is socialism that Obambi wants to spread then YES, I also want socialism to fail in this country.

    One and done Barry.


    February 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Angie

    hey steele what about the rubber stamping you and the rest of the tired repubs gave dumbbell bush and crazy cheney over the last 8 years that got us in the mess. you will soon learn the true colors of the repubs(pardon the pun). its a joke that they picked you to head the rnc.and the only reason they did is because of PRESIDENT OBAMA. now you are talking about finding hip-hop repubs. they are smarter than that. I don't care who you have in the repub party if you still have those same old,self ideas you will continue to lose. People are tired of the fighting. We just want our lives back. And I know it won't be the repubs that can do it. As far as the Dems wanting to send the money back to Washington, that is not true. It may seem that way because of the diaster PRESIDENT OBAMA inherited when he walked into the WH. while dumbbell bush was so focused on war everythingelse suffered. he made emenies with other countries that the US had been friendly with. If you repubs cant own up to any of these facts then you will never ever win again. People will not be so gullible. you talk about morals, I dont think you repubs know the meaing of the word. Morals can't put food on the table or a roof over our heads. you people make me sick.

    February 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. JWheeler

    Talk about 'ego.' The supreme egotist was George Bush - the Decider - who claimed he had capital that he was now going to cash in on. Well, we know who got the cash. It sounds as if the Republicans want all the money to go only to their friends.

    February 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Steph

    No, Mr. Steele, you have it all wrong. The Republicans have offered very little "innovative" ideas. Tax cuts are not innovative, and they aren't going to work on their own!

    February 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Jim

    I am so tired of hearing these republicans complaining about their "ideas" being left out. YOU HAD EIGHT YEARS. YOUR IDEAS PUT US IN THIS HOLE.

    February 7, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Marcia

    The Republicans have not figured out yet that they lost in November, because the country and the World figured out just how full of them selves they were. Now they are acting like bratty children holding their breath until they get their way. Get over yourself s, the Democrats have finally gotten a backbone and a leader that believes doing the right thing doesn't always please everyone .

    February 7, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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