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. Jonathan Davis

    Wow, who do these Dems think they are, Republicians? I haven't forgotten the way the Republicians ran congress for 6 of the last 8 years. Perhaps he thinks we have.

    February 7, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Lennon for president

    ummm sorry but corruption of power is the Republicans' Modus Operandi. They got us into this mess from the beginning....since Reagan they left us a ticking time bomb and Bush made it go off...so unless they get some new ideas they should just sit this one out. President Obama has done his best to work with these blokes and all they have been doing is whinning and shooting things down for no good reason. This bill isn't even as much spending as we need to do, we need to do something and since no one knows exactly what that is why not try something rather than arguing about it. WE NEED TO FIX THE ECONOMY NOT MAKE IT WORSE WITH STUPID TAX CUTS AND OTHER BENEFITS FOR THE 7% OF WEALTHY AMERICA THEY DON'T NEED IT!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. sacto joe

    Power? What "power"? The only majority that counts for legislation is the Senate majority, where a bare majority of MODERATES exists!

    The Repubs are polarized to the Hard Right. The majority of the Dems, in response to years of Republican abuse of power, are understandably demanding a little reciprocity, a little restoration of balance.

    Thank God for President Obama!

    February 7, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Diana Ewing NJ

    Oh, Michael Steele has a job... hum... does he have any idea how many people out here don't have one...and I have a question for him... is he running the GOP or is Rush Limbaugh?... I noticed this moring the GOP Senate worked to get the percentage of tax cuts in the bill Rush wanted... remember he called it Limbaugh/Obama bill just last week.
    And I did notice that the GOP thought even after Steele was picked that they should Joe the Plumber in to advise them..

    February 7, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. nancy

    Thank you Mr. Steele, you got a great point, and we need to hear it at this crucial moment. A lots of time, politicians use our hard time as a opportunity to get what they want, and it comes out will hurt this country even more. Iraq war is a example, and now the same story repeated again with the new goverment. Please stand up to protect our country and our people.

    February 7, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. john rico

    Did he sleep through November 4th? Doesn't he realize Americans firmly said NO to republican ideas? He is seriously saying this then dissing on Dem's ego? Sheesh.

    February 7, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Susan, Albany, NY

    Steele forgot that he got the position due to Obama. RNC would never elect an African American to be its head but Obama's success made RNC to be a copycat.

    However, fakes don't work. RNC is by Limbaughs, for Limbaughs and to the Limbaughs.

    February 7, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Token Steele

    February 7, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Susan

    Families can't keep the money they earn if they're not earning any money. Nearly 600,000 people lost their jobs in January alone. We need to create jobs, and the people doing those jobs will expect to be paid. You cannot put people back to work without spending any money.

    Trickle-down economics does not work. I don't know why this is so difficult to understand. It's just more of the same from Republicans, and the American public is sick of it.

    February 7, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Betty Anne Jones

    psssst.....Mikey, Guess what?

    You guys lost...get over it!!!

    It's our world now


    February 7, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. landi

    is this dude for real????

    February 7, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. AC

    And Federal government questions RNC chairman's Senate Campaign finances. You in a heap a trouble, chairman!

    February 7, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Marge

    Steele is a bunch of crap he is just trying to start conterversary. There is no body in this country that had more of a ego trip then the republicans did under bush. They would not allow ANY DEMOCRAT to even voice their opinions in the debate of the laws.

    Remember folks when the Democrats were having a meeting in the basement of the House of Representatives with flabber blabber mouth sennessebrener went down, unpluged their microphone and called the capital police to throw them out. WHICH THEY HAD A PERFECT RIGHT TO HOLD A MEETING. How egotistical can you get. Steele, the crook of crooks. Remember when he tried to force Mike Tyson to sign over part of his money (when he had some) to Steele's sister to whom Tyson was married at the time. He lied and told Tyson he was a lawyer. Fact is he wasn't, he had flunked out several times and didn't become one til years later. So how in the world can anybody believe a blabber mouth like steele.

    February 7, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Saint

    The Republicans has exposed themselves as the most incompetent idiots this country has ever had to deal with. If they are counting on complete stupidly for their constituencies they are in trouble. They expect people to believe their idiot rambling. It is absolute shameful to have the world see these idiots on TV.

    February 7, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. scott s

    ABSOLUTE JOKE!!!!!!!! steele is...

    February 7, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Patty from Pennsylvania

    It seems to me that the Democrats did listen to "fair minded Republicans" by sitting down with those who were willing to accept the premise of President Obama's challenges and approach. They worked hard for several days to scrub out unproductive funding. It shouldn't go unnoticed that the Senate bill grew by over $100 billion from the House version as a result of primarily Republican amendments. So, there was over $200 billion in changes made based on Republican representation input. That's not small change in my book!

    February 7, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Don't Vote For Hate

    What is the word i am looking for? Oh, yeah:


    February 7, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. kevin

    The obstructionist, money spending, deficit creating, war mongering Republicans are now complaining about not be included...the irony amazes me. Where were their heads for the last 8 years. We're about to see the true Republican nature come alive again...attack dogs all!

    February 7, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. oreokooky

    oh stfu, as if the Gay Ol' Party or the Grand Oil Party did not let all their black blood of power rush to their empty 15th century mindset when they got power back in 2000, or stole power? gimme a break, this quack is a publicity stunt to try to create inroads into other non-white demographics and anyone with half a brain can see that. What an idiot, couldn't even win in Maryland, has no sense of what Reagan, the biggest republican tax hiker we've ever had was really about...AL and TR would have all these people who are in charge of their once Grand and legit party put to rest literally, and we'd be better off for it. Limbaugh would do us all a favor if he went to gitmo for a co ck meat sandwich.

    February 7, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Tom

    Ah yes the great Michael Steele. If the repelicans (see Democrat below) ideas are so great why did they get bashed in the last 2 elections, why did you lose your race for Senator from Maryland. You may have some good ideas but totally dissing what the Democrats (you notice I did not say "Democrat" as some in your party are want to do) have offered is not the way to get things done. Are their egos big, all politicians have large egos, so what is new there.

    Oh, Michael, by the way what is that story about your campaign funds that appeared in the newspaper and online?

    February 7, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Terri

    Amazing! They got everything they whined for as a compromise, taken in good faith and they still won't do the right thing. It's time for a good bulldozing. Wake up Democrats! Stop asking for a compromise. Take what's ours before the the time for change is over. Stop all this compromise B.S. I am a non-partisan voter, but in light of what's happening I doubt that I will ever vote for a Republican again, no matter what they do. It may take another four years to overturn this crap, but when this economy totally fails there won't be a Republican party left who will bend us over ever again.

    February 7, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Adoum

    Please GOP gives chance to Democrats to serve the country after 8 years your result is Economic Crisis,War,fear in the world.


    February 7, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Dace Tucson AZ

    Why do we need to here anything this Token Uncle Tom has to say. He wasn't even paying his mortgage before the crash in 2003 he had major self induced financial problems but we here nothing in the media about that – just his stupid attention getting dribble. And oh yes GOP voted for controlled spending now – when that is exactly what is needed HOOVER! But they sure didn't under the biggest spending spree in the history of the world – 1.2 Trillion Bush GOP debt – remember that Token.

    February 7, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Mel

    House Democrats, Senat Democrats, and the president are in power because America and the world have had absolutely enough of "Great" GOP ideas and their resultant unprecedented budget deficits, unemployment, housing disaster, etc., etc., etc.
    There is not a SINGLE topic or issue that the GOP Congress, Senate, or President have been right about.
    ALL of the GOP especially the latest moron spokesperson need to sit down, shut up, and get something done.

    February 7, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. LMC in Seattle

    Economists have said that the government needs to spend to spur the economy, not make tax cuts. Historically, tax cuts have not helped. It seems to me it is the Republicans in Congress with the big egos–they have jobs and I don't hear or see them worrying about the rest of us!

    February 7, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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