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. Alex

    You have to be kidding me. I have heard this argument for the past 8 years, and we have seen that it just doesn't work. Talk about going over the same talking points.... tax cuts alone do not work. How can these people not understand this?!?!?!

    February 7, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Independent in PA

    I love watching the feigned outrage put forth by the Republicans since the American people put them in their place. We didn't see this level of legislative negotiating when Republicans were in the majority. I hope Mr. Steele remembers that the last eight years are not so easily forgotten.

    February 7, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. jimmy johns

    you know it's not about dem or rep. It's about what makes sense. forcing a trillion stimulus doesn't make sense.

    February 7, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. walter

    Micheal Steele IS our new Ronald Reagan!! We will be with you for the fight to win Republican mid-term election victories in 2010 and beyond!! Keep hammering at these brain fart Liberal losers with the facts and make them fully aware of the Obama myth! I think the media is finally starting to catch on as his ratings are plummeting!! We love you Micheal!!

    February 7, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Bruce

    Sounds like sour grapes.....we just went through 8 years of the Republican power grab, so I guess he knows one when he sees one.

    February 7, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Mike in Philly

    "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."

    Uhmmm .. what? The Republican ideas and plans are all tax cuts – witness the almost uninamious support of DeMint's plans, which was NO spending and ALL tax cuts. And this plan is 42% tax cuts. So how can he possibly say that Republican ideas weren't included, when nearly half the plan is the ONLY thing ALL the Republicans agreed on???

    February 7, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. duomaxwell00

    This is the same douchebag who just last week said bi-partisanship is overrated. Now he's blaming Democrats? I'm sure it's so easy for him to forget how his party had control of congress for so long and were responsible for the mess we are in. Irrelevant Republican Hypocrite.

    February 7, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Hinkle Ferry

    Poor, delusional Michael Steele – What will happen when you are unable to deliver the hip-hop conservative vote?

    It's sad that you have allowed yourself to be used as a pawn in the GOP game of chess. As I have said before, and I will say it once again.

    Never, ever think you are ACCEPTED by the GOP . . . you are ONLY TOLERATED and that is only for a season.

    February 7, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Chet Parker

    Mr. Steele, like most Republicans in the country, is afflicted with such a large ego that he/they are incapable of realizing the country wants them to keep their hands off our money. They have proven they are sorely lacking in the field of fiscal responsibility. They are why we have this huge debt and a economy in such horrible shape that some segments of our society may never recover. Thanks for 8 years of the worst government this young country has witnesses. Now please shut up and go away.

    February 7, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Dick M


    1. The Republican lost the election.
    A. For the White House
    B. In the Senate
    C. In the House
    D. Live with it.
    2. Republicans have big egos too.
    A. Ask Rush Limbaugh
    B. Ask Tom Delay
    C. Ask G. W. Bush
    D. Ask Dick Cheney
    3. Clean up your own mess before using knee-jerk canned attacks against the Democrats.

    February 7, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Steve

    Yeah, so tax cuts are great.....for those who still have jobs. How many millions of americans are out of work that wont be helped at all by tax cuts? How does that help families struggling to stay in their homes, hunting for a job that pays 40%, 60% less than they were making? So I get to save what, $15, maybe $25 per paycheck? So that means I can buy some more meat, or maybe some veggies to put on the table....thats stimulus?!

    Oh wait, you mean tax cuts for corporate America? Yeah, we know that if the corporations get tax cuts they are going to run right out and hire a bunch of new people and increase their payroll, insurance liability, payroll taxes, social security...on, no wait, they wont have to spend as much on insurance as they dont offer it much anymore, or it is incredibly expensive (ummm, $500/ month premium where I work for me and my spouse).

    So lets give corporate america a big tax cut and hope they do what is right. Hmmmmm...dont see a lot of evidence to back up that theory.

    Sorry but tax cuts arent the only answer and that just happens to be the only answer republicans have.

    Please Mr. Steele, If you think thats the only answer, as its the only one Republicans have offered up so far (they dont like anything else), I would be more than happy to discuss at length the issues surrounding your wonderful, yet wonderfully underdeveloped ideas.

    Of course we all know republicans dont read what the people say...the general population doesnt matter

    February 7, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Will R

    OK, I'm done with this guy.

    Michael Steele isn't one of the answers to the Republican Party's problems.

    He is just the same ole same ole in a different wrapper.

    February 7, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. BB

    What an asinine statement. Let me tell you, Mr. Steele, there has never been a cockier administration than the one that just left. You seem like a part of the PACK.

    Get lost, loser, because we know who is obstructing progress in this country. 2010 is next year. We won't forget.

    February 7, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Brian, Albany NY

    All republicans want to do is hand out billions more to CEOs and millionaires while claiming to support "families." The only families they support are their own and their campaign donors!

    February 7, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Angie in Pa

    CHILDREN! Thats what we have in congress CHILDREN!

    February 7, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Chris E.

    Now the Republicans know how it feel when you have great ideas and no one want to hear nor use them, Why can both parties just set down like "ADULTS" and try to find a way to help the common people they are not the ones who losing their jobs/home it is the common people who is trying to keep there head above water, Instead of given out BILLIONS of DOLLAR to company who are going under that money could have been given to the tax payer who pay taxes instead what did they do made the rich richer than what they was in the first place. So both parties need to get over who have the most power and work together

    February 7, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Deven

    Funny that when Bush was in office and the Dems were in minority, the press didn't follow Pelosi or Kennedy around asking for their input on everythnig W. said or did...after a landlslide election, in favor of Democratic ticket, why on Earth is the media following around the Republicans in congress and giving them such incredible amounts of airtime?? No one cares what those old farts have to say!

    February 7, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Nick - West Hills (L.A.), CA

    Yeah...Cut Taxes. That's the way to do it!

    To the rich, that will mean more money in their checkbook.

    To the unemployed, that will mean.....a job stacking lawn furniture in the cabana of the rich who just saved more on their taxes?

    Gimmie a break. The Dems have changed the bill to the Rebubs liking over and over, and repubs just keep opposing it for the sake of opposition.

    Last I checked, in November, the ELECTORATE sent a clear message to Washington.

    Too bad the GOP has no clue how to read such messages.

    February 7, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. dj

    Repubs, have no leg to stand on!!!

    February 7, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Jaimon

    Sounds good, but the GOP had 2000-2006 to get their act together on spending. They never did. The DNC is certainly wasting their goodwill with their absurd spending programs, but would the GOP actualy be better?
    The GOP only behaves reasonably when they don't have the White House and the only good Dem ideas come from the White House (Clinton and Obama years).
    Kinda reminds me of the Clinton years. We need a Newt to control spending and a Clinton/Obama to come up with ideas that don't involve invading foreign countries.

    February 7, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. John

    Democrats letting the power go to their heads – what a JOKE. The republicans have played scorched earth politics for the past eight years.

    Now just trying to restore a little balance, this joker shows his lying face with silly accusations.

    February 7, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Steven McCarthy

    This comment coming from the party that single handedly destroyed the US Economy in 6 years? Bush's ego was larger than his intellegence when he declared that he has "Political Capital and that" he intended to spend it. He only one by less than 1% of the vote.

    February 7, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. drew

    Mr. Steele: Here is the news in case you did not get it: Your party lost in November. American and America have rendered the verdict on your "trickle down" economic ideas. Deal with it!

    February 7, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Eileen

    Good ideas – you mean like loading the bill with ineffective tax cuts? The gop are one-trick ponies. How about Mr. McCains bill, tax cuts. Soundly rejected. When the republicans can think beyond tax cuts and the same old ideas that landed us where we are today, then I'm sure their "ideas" will be considered. But now is not the time for the same old song and dance.

    BTW mr. steele, I hope we see your brand of "bi-partisianship" in the investigation of your campaign spending issues. But I guess a little corruption earned you some stripes with the gop since that seems to be a badge of honor for your party.

    February 7, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. No you didn't

    It went to Pres. Clinton's head.

    February 7, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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