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. Terri

    The only thing they want to kick-start is their pocketbooks.

    February 7, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Leo D, PA

    RNC Chairman Michael Steele is the new blood that is needed to reestablish the Republuican base. Right now history is being made
    on an unproved Stimulus Plan, that is needeed to save and create jobs, and to restore jobs. The cost of the Plan is excessive, and will
    affect each and every member of every family. Do our legislators feel
    the impact to these families, looking from their power stuctured lives?
    I hope that our new President Barack Obama can avert a Depression.

    February 7, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Susan

    Mr. Steele should answer for his own campaign spending fraud allegations before he starts shooting his mouth off about Democrats.

    February 7, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. Sam

    The only person in congress who seems to want to get anything done is the President. Pathetic.

    February 7, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. Mike

    if you're one of the thousands that have lost your job because the economy is in the tank, the concept of "...letting them keep more of the money they earn." is ridiculous. We lost the job where we earned money. Its the same republican tactic being pushed again to "lower taxes" which means the extremely wealthy are going to keep more and more of their money, while the rest of us get stuck with a nice-sounding concept of a tax credit, something that we never end up getting to use.

    February 7, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Larry

    "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."
    The republicans have ruined the economy for the last 8 years and now they expect democrats to continue with their bad save the rich people polices. Well guess what? Republicans were voted out of office for a reason. I can't wait for 2010 when more right wing hypocrites will be removed from the house and senate.

    February 7, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Janet

    Looks like Republicans suddenly have got " good ideas...lots of them..." after Obama's plan...looks like they have been waiting for his plan so can critizise it.
    "That's why Republicans in the House voted against uncontrolled spending..." All these years spending was uncontrolled, just shut up, because of you broke people have to bailout rich people and rich people don't want oversight!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Chris Manno

    I absolutely hate this guy...and all Republicans for that matter. Let them dissolve into history.

    February 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. janetlaw

    Where y'all been the past eight years? (and during Repub administrations for the last 30) – TAX CUTS DON'T WORK! How tone-deaf can you be? Stimulus happens when the government invests in projects that create jobs – give a stimulus check to the public and what will they do? SAVE IT AND NOT SPEND IT BECAUSE THEY ARE SO NEEDY AFTER THE PAST EIGHT YEARS OF IDIOCY THAT THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY THINGS – DUH!

    February 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Kelly

    Hmm.. Where was the outcry from the RNC when the Republicans were in control and failed to include Democrats? Do tell, Mr. Steele, what exactly are these "good ideas...all left out by Democrats"?

    February 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Alison

    Oh dear. This fellow is subscribing to the same worn-out ideas that got us INTO this mess in the first place. And if it was okay to spend trillions in Iraq, to help Iraqis, why isn't it okay to spend here in the US, to help Americans when the country really needs it? Please explain that one to me, because I'm having a really tough time following that logic.

    February 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Robert

    Welcome to the new world.....Obama Land – you don't like what I want?? what I say? what I do?? tough. I am late all the time and I am arrogant. It is the Obama way or no way! Period!

    February 7, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Marian Hulsman

    Mr. Steele,

    What can we do as Americans to stop this crazy bill. It seems like each state has a pet project that they want taken care of and if anything is left over, it goes to stimulate the economy. I watched the senate on Saturday, and I must say, It sure takes a long time for something to get thru the Senate. all the roll calls, and cutting off people from talking. I saw John McCain going around trying to talk to people and his idea of getting good people from each party to come up with a new stimulus package seems fair. what is the hurry? We have been poor for so long, what will another month do? Also, I always watched you on FoxNews and I am glad they chose you to be the head of the Republican party. I have been a Democrat all my life, (75 years)but I voted for John McCain this year. Marian from Cincy, Ohio

    February 7, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Warren

    One thing I hate is a sellout and a token..and the sad thing about it is he's knows it..

    February 7, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Tomas E

    If you can't be part of the solution than please sit down, shut up and let someone that is part of the solution a chance to come to the table.

    February 7, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. JWNewYork

    I wonder if whether Michael Steele’s MINORITY PARTY position “has gone to his head.” He has to remember that they lost and are no longer driving but are along for the ride. I think John McCain, Steele and all the Repugs have a reality and denial problem.

    February 7, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. keeth in california

    Do Republicans really have that little of a grasp on history? No one could ever match their egos when they had the White House and Congress. Steele is just talking smack.

    And, hey, GOP, you do realize you can't renew your image with just any black guy...

    February 7, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. James

    How come when the Republicans lose the White House they suddenly become fiscal conservatives again! Hypocrisy...the word of the day.

    February 7, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Josh

    When the Democrats start an unjust war, torture innocent people, and deregulate so that the economy goes into a downward spiral then come talk to me with B.S.

    February 7, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Jack Meyers

    Dear Mr. Steele,

    As far as I'm concerned, it was Republican ideas and Repugnican ideals that got us into this mess over the last eight years. And it was a strong, if not overwhelming, majority that voted you jokers out. When nearly three quarters of the country has been dissatisfied with Repugnicans in charge, why is it that you wonder why we aren't listening to you? You're out of power - for eight years you ignored opposition, belittled critics and called into question their patriotism and your party walked all over the rights of countless citizens and foreigners alike; is it any wonder your continued harping on rejected ideas is irrelevant?

    February 7, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Tracy

    Mr. Steele continues to puff up his chest given his new title. For someone coming to the national stage, working to so call revamp the RNC, his recent speeches seem more like the same crap. First he thinks working together (bipartianship) is overrated now he talks about egos of politican on Captial Hill. Sounds like someone is planning on a 2012 run.

    February 7, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Cal

    Finally, a real conservative as RNC chairman. I hope Steele keeps this up and fixes the party and country. As for Obama, maybe he's the messiah... for the Republican party and I hope he and the dems keep up what their doing too.

    February 7, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Chris

    steele is just another palin. the republicans' attempt to show diversity. but instead of choosing the best of them, they just choose whoever bothered to show up.

    ironic since a majority of them are against affirmative actions.

    February 7, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Mike

    Your team lost get over it. Your team had their chance and made a huge mess of things. Now get out of the way and let the Dems have their chance.

    February 7, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. DavidL

    Wow. Just, wow. What do you even say to these guys? All of you who wondered if perhaps the GOP finally understood that the same old tactics weren't going to work, etc. – there you have it. March in lockstep, anything from a Dem is bad, bad, bad, pander to your core ideals even though 1)they've been wrong for, well, ever, and 2)times call for the urgent action Democrats are putting through, and 3)your party is in the minority because it was voted there by people tired of the same old crap from you tools. But it's bigger than that; besides being tired of that crap, more is at stake now, and your act is endangering our collective futures. Sadly, you just don't get it. Keep getting your talking points from Rush and acting according to what letter comes after someone's name and see what happens.

    February 7, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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