February 7th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
6 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. Bella

    Does this Republican not realize that he was deliberately selected to lead the party because of his skin color. Surely he could not be that dumb to think that it is because of his wit and charm. The Republicans are desperate to ingratiate themselves with Americans who have watched them destroy this country and the all white boy's club have decided on a master strategy. Get their own Obama.

    Now Steel is their attack dog and he has already started to growl at Obama. This way whenever he opens his big mouth and put his foot in it, he will not be called racist.

    "Sic 'em, boy!"

    February 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. B

    This guy is a joke. He'll be solely responsible for tanking the Republican party from simply being contrary for the sake of being contrary. We need cooperation and solutions right now. Not this tired brand of partisanship.

    February 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Scy

    Seriously? After the Bush years and The Hammer and, well, everybody? And he said this all the while he is under Federal investigation for fraud? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    And the GOP wonders why only the Radical RIght is voting for them anymore. In the words of Bugs Bunny . . . what a maroon.


    February 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Bill Brown

    more bull as usual from thr repubs

    February 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |

    This is a doggone shame. Hide your racism behind another African American. Well, Americans are sick of this crap. Americans want help now. This is pathetic. Republicans should have left their voting pens at home when all of this other junk was pushed through the Bush Administration, which can be credited to the current situation. This is just pathetic. Know this, the public is well aware.

    February 7, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Another Republican Gimmick

    When are Republicans going to take responsibility for giving our tax money to corporations and failed businesses that used it to stuff their own pockets and fulfill the desires of their own greed?

    Maybe when that happens I might be able to try and believe that Republicans are standing by the American taxpayer without throwing up on myself.

    Why doe Republicans hate America???

    February 7, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Bev

    In looking at what was cut from the stimulus bill, it can be said that it is a spending bill, but with an opportunity to do a lot of good. What confuses me is why Congress agreed to the TARP funds to "simulate" the fat cats of Wall Street, but then eliminates historic preservation, education, science, and neighborhood programs from the stimulus bill. Who really is Congress watching out for? I watched the debate all day on Friday on CSPAN. The Republicans were the "We aren't gonna do it, and you can't make us" kids, while the Democrats were the "Let's just keep telling the Repubs how much we love and respect them, and maybe they'll start to play nice" conjoling adults. It truly was a pitiful and grueling process to watch. All in all, Congress looked the fool yesterday. I've seen more cooperation and maturity on a children's playground.

    February 7, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Linda, NY

    Of course, Republicans are against this bill....they only approve of money being given to banks and wall st....heaven forbid we use some money for the citizens of this country. Steele may be a new face but it is the same old story...give the money to business and they will insure that it trickles down to the "common man"....yes, and we all still believe in Santa Claus.

    February 7, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. SC

    Republicans' ideas are same old same old and they know nothing but tax cut. That's pathetic!

    February 7, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Jube

    A RNC ploy to put a black guy in front . These guys are so see through! It's refreshing to note that the majority of the people won't get fooled again!

    February 7, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. I love the GOP

    I LOVE THIS MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAN OF STEELE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Watson

    The only proposal I heard from the rebublican side has been the same old tax cut idea that has yet to trickle down to anyone I know. I am utterly amazed at the republican party's blinders. They seem unable or unwilling to put country first.

    February 7, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. panterazero

    Mr. Steele,

    United States government has basically used the same ideology and fiscal principles for the last 28 years, since Ronald Reagan took office. (in the context of what I'm saying, Clinton wasn't that much different from the others - although he did at least leave us a budget surplus.)

    At the end of those 28 years, we're facing one hot war that we're barely backing out of with a whole skin, one hot war that is probably unwinnable, an economy in complete ruins, and income inequality that has torn this country apart.

    So much for your ideas. You don't get a do-over. Now we're going to use our ideas, for at least two presidential terms and, I hope, four.

    February 7, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. allen

    tell him that is the consequence of losing 2 consecutive elections. that is why their republikan ideas are not considered. their party and their ideas are irrelevant. they should get over losing.

    February 7, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Ernie in LA

    Time will tell. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

    February 7, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. AZ Senior

    On the contrary, the Republicans don't realize that they are out of power.

    February 7, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Amy Pa

    @Michael SteeleBut it will take more than bipartisan words from the President. It will require fair-minded action from Democrats in Congress****.And fair minded action from the Republican in congress
    You are A TOOL!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Alex

    If anyone would know anything about letting power get to their heads, it would be a Republican.

    February 7, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. henry

    mr.steele where have you been for last eight years, the last administration promoted nothing but tax cuts and nothing happen to stimulate the economy . If tax cuts is all you have to offer than you and your party will lose more seats in the coming elections. americans want a goverment to work for all the people. you folks on the so call right think you are the only ones to speak for the americans people, you should start listening and stop telling us what good for us. mr. steele if you want to broaden your party you must get away from the notion that only you know what best.

    February 7, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. AJ

    Michael Steele, the Republican "Token ". You can see right through them. If you are smart, Michael Steele, you will resign. They intend to use you as a fall guy. Don't let them use you like that. They don't a bit more care about you than they do the man in the moon.

    February 7, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Ernie in LA

    This guy looks way better than Obama.

    February 7, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. I love the GOP

    GREAT POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Bea

    Considering Steele is now under federal investigation for paying his sister's company big bucks for bogus services during his 2006 Senate campaign, he certainly is qualified to talk about "uncontrolled spending". Yes indeed!

    February 7, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Adam

    You have got to be kidding; the Republicans had 8 years to get things right, and failed. Where were these "good ideas" then?

    February 7, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. P.J.

    I honestly would love to see the Republicans take their story to the American people. I'm not talking about speeches, soundbites from the House and Senate floor, or interviews on Fox News. Instead I'd like to see them set up booths at job fairs and unemployment offices where Steele, McCain, Boehner, McConnell can stand face to face with people who need help. Maybe they could explain how tax cuts during Bush's 8 years (6 with a Republican majority) have been so successful that we should do it some more. Maybe they could explain why it was okay to throw money at contractors in Iraq but it's not okay to put Americans to work insulating schools to save energy costs down the road - or help struggling families get affordable health care.

    February 7, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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