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. Dorothy M. Oliver, Greensboro, NC

    The Republican Party shows us each day that President Bush was not alone in bringing our country to its knees.

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

    Hmmm.. W left 5 trillion dollars in the red. Why dont YA elephants work on paying it all back FIrST, before you say anything about the DONKEYS, okay?

    February 7, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. ck

    You bet it has, despite the mess that CONGRESS has created over the past several years.

    February 7, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Angie in Pa

    I Predict in 2010 the Republicans are gonna be Extinct,And this steele guy pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee power to the heads, Thats all the Republicans care about is power and their Party,Not the people I think they are proving that right now! Steele stfu Loser!

    February 7, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Jim D. in Costa Mesa

    Steele is just more of the same, more of the lame Republican attack, lie and obstruct. Sounds like some of the same Republican delusional thinking has gone to his head. He sure wasn't given the job for his new ideas. Mr. Steele, get ready to get knocked down!

    February 7, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. ruth

    Soooo...... the republicans did'nt let it go to their heads when they had control of the house and the senate? We don't care about the republican plans for this bill. We just care about small stuff like JOBS, HEALTH CARE, OUR HOMES, SENDING OUR KIDS TO COLLEGE, SOCIAL SECURITY, NOT HAVING TO BAIL OUT THE PIGS OF WALL STREET. Just those small things.... MIke

    February 7, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. dennis ablizo

    Hey Mike!

    here is a suggestion. why don't you bleach yourself?

    stop pretending to be one of the minorities. you walk and quack like one of them that it just so happen you are black.

    February 7, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. bill

    I guess the bipartisanship effort that President Obama tried was part of this power going to his head. I guess the negotiations in the Senate is part of this power going to their head. I am sure that someone wants to hear your mutterings, but i am at a loss to know who

    February 7, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Sharon

    A note to Republicans and Mr. Steele.

    You lost for a reason. You lost because people are tired of the partisan bickering, false outrage and posturing.

    When you come up with an idea besides tax cuts, which clearly do not work, then MAYBE the rest of us will listen, if you also cut out the egomania.

    You all need a reality check. You have run this country and its workers into the ground and all you can still think about is cutting taxes for your rich friends.

    One other thing. Republicans are no longer in power. I think it's time for you to try and figure out why and believe me, nasty, condescending rhetoric isn't going to do it.

    February 7, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Veronica, CA

    Tax cuts? Sir, I was laid off on Monday because funding for the specific education sector I worked in has ran out of money. So, since I do not have a job, how are tax cuts, allowing me to keep more of my income, going to help me and the hundreds of thousands other fellow Americans who no longer have jobs!!!???!!! I was a state employee and my state does not have money. The state needs money so people may be rehired.

    February 7, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Aaron

    Mr. Steele, your band of thieves had eight years to come up with ideas to help Americans, and all your crooks did was steal us blind.
    Not only should your party not be be trusted with this bill, most of them should be behind bars!

    February 7, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. V.K. RAMAN, Sparks, NV

    Michael Steele is pandering to the Extreme right conservatives including Rush and Hannity. Continue criticizing Obama so he will have 2 terms of Presidency.

    February 7, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. RJ from Florida

    You republicans are absolute hypocrites and whiners! Look at all the disasters your party has inflicted on our country for the last 8 years. Your propaganda fools no one.

    February 7, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Lennon for president

    the Republican party is synonymous with hypocrisy...I mean Obama isn't even planning on spending half the money we wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan under Bush...I mean everything they do is double standard

    February 7, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Rory Sellers

    Has anybody done the math? Steele is talking about less than one-one hundredth of one percent (45 million divided by 700 billion).

    Yes, 45 million dollars is a lot of money. But this is like telling your tailor you don't like your suit because it has a speck of lint on it.

    Steele thinks power has gone to our heads? Disagreeing over 1/100 of one percent (.0001) times the amount being discussed is hardly like pulling out of Kyoto or arms-control, lying to start a war, or any of the other despicable things his guy did after winning a razor thin disputed election in 2001 (and gaining just an ENORMOUS amount of political capital, right George?)

    Can we have some perspective here? After Republicans destroyed this country spending BILLIONS every day in Iraq, for them to talk about misplaced power because of saving some fish is not ludicrous, it's certifiably insane.

    February 7, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. tony

    Will the RNC just go away! Americans aren't buying their continual pack of lies anymore. A Repulican President and Congress/Senate got is in this huge mess. They just don't get it. Cutting taxes for the superwealthy dosen't help 99% of Americans and won't fix our problems.

    February 7, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Ab Licone

    if he has to "question" – then he is already dumber than they are. whatever happened to Common Sense and Service – shouldn't that be making decisions instead of Politics and Greed ?

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

    Republicans are bound and determined to make the Obama presidency fail. No matter what Obama does, they are going to oppose him for his entire presidency.

    All those in the Senate & House are a bunch of partisan hacks who only know how to disagree and oppose. Dems included. None of them know how to compromise or work together. Fire them all!

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

    Here's an interesting comment I read elsewhere:

    You are supporting the government spending $900 billion to create 4 million jobs. Each one will cost you (it is your tax money, and your childrens and your grandchildrens) $225,000. On average those jobs will pay less than $40,000 per year. There is no business in the world that will survive with that kind of philosophy. Think about it. Then call your Congressman, Democrat or Republican!

    I'm thinking about it . . . and I'm calling!

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


    That the percent of the stimulus is tax cuts, so let it be known that the RNC and Mr. Steele can know longer call democrats tax and spend liberals. Which was a BS argument in the first place and not based on any reality ive ever seen.

    The only thing the Republicans talked about is tax cuts, tax cuts and more tax cuts, well you just got $300 million worth of tax cuts and your complaining that the Dems have egos, HA.

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

    It is perplexing to see how the Republicans are convinced they have the solution to this economic crisis, especially since they are responsible for it.

    If the simple solution is tax cuts, it would be a no-brainer. Has anyone stopped to think that putting tax money in the hands of certain people would simply be wasted and not be poured back constructively into the economy? What about the people who find themselves in this mortgage crisis because they lived beyond their means? Or people who have accumulated huge credit card debt without a second thought to how they were going to pay for it.

    Republicans, think outside the box for once and come up with fresh new ideas, The old ones that you cannot seem to let go of have proven to fail.... God knows the last 8 years is proof enough !!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Romney2012

    Mr. Steele, you're right; they believe they Gods...and with only cutting 2.25 Billion out of the 4.19 Billion pork platter slated for "Neighborhood Stabilization," i.e., ACORN ....they're still going to be able to secure poor, voter hostages....by once again buying votes through ACORN and other corrupt avenues....

    That' leaves 1.94 billion, or $38.8 million for each of the 50 states....that's entirely unacceptable ACORN deserves nothing until they're clear of all voter fraud, and with Obama as their prodigal son, I doubt seriously he'll move toward it.....

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

    Michael Steele is an irrelevant, obstructionist bully and the real America could care less about what he has to say. Show some real patriotism and keep your mouth shut unless you have something constructive to offer. America has woken up and IS watching this time.

    February 7, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. hugh ~ california

    MIchael Steele is just a GOP puppet, given the chairman title on false pretenses. No one is fooled by this republican publicity stunt. The very thing Steele accuses the democrats of is exactly what the GOP lost–power! The power he refers to has gone to the heads of the American people, more fittingly the hearts of the American people, who voted overwhelmingly to place new democrats into a strong majority party.

    If the GOP continues the partisan rancoring, perhaps it is time to vote more new democrats into the congress and senate while voting more republicans out! Every time a republican speaks out against a democrat led bill they continue to prove that the GOP is out of touch with most American voters.

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

    This is a joke, right?

    After losing the 2000 popular vote, GWB rammed through tax cuts for the rich that have devastated our budget and economy. Republican policies are responsible for the debacle we face today. And Democrats were systematically excluded from any real participation–Republicans wouldn't even tell them where & when the conference committee meetings were! Now after the American electorate has given President Obama & the Democrats a mandate to clean up the GOP's load of elephant manure, and after the GOP spurned good faith efforts to be included to score cheap political points & grandstand to impress their true leader, Rush Limbaugh, we get this drivel? Puh-leeze!

    Go back to siphoning off campaign funds to pay your sister for work she didn't do, Mr. Steele. You and your policies are exactly the reason why Americans are deserting the GOP in droves. If only the media would notice (why are there still two Republicans for every Democrat on most talk shows?).

    February 7, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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