February 7th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele questions if Democrats’ power ‘has gone to their heads’

CNN

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. Jeff M.

    What a bunch of bull.
    The GOP ran this country into the ground the last 8 years and they lost bigtime in November.
    Hey GOP, you were "fired" by the American people in November.

    February 7, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Marty

    RNC hasn't changed. You guys ran the show for 6 years and turned this country into a crap hole with your philosophies. It's time to let the Dems work theirs to dig us out. Is there pork in the bill, yes. But not as much as you claim.

    February 7, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Lance

    If there's one thing that's certain, it's that Republicans know finances and deficits.

    Just curious what was being offered by Republicans 6 months ago – or was that Clinton's fault? I dislike the traditional wimpiness of the Democrats almost as much as the pure special interests of the Republicans but until the Repubs offer anything more than political stalling then I'll support Obama.

    February 7, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Melody Chapin

    The Republican administration had their chance at correcting the financial crisis. Let the current President and Democrats have a chance to remedy the situation. It appears that some spending measures have already been removed including, once again, education.

    At this point the Republicans need to stop criticizing and get on with solving the problem.

    February 7, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. BJs

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    February 7, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Slap'em

    The Democratic representatives were hired to do a job, the Repubs are being radical obsructionists by blocking their good work with voting "no" no matter how much President Obama tries to work with them. They wil stab him in the back at every opportunity they have.
    We need to fire more Repubs next round, or sooner. Mr. Steele needs to do some soul searching to see if he and they want to be extinct.

    February 7, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. mike doty

    we have lived with the republicans for the past 8 years, they got us in this mess, egos, look in the mirror and listen to the american people that are hurting, give obama a chance, don't pick at every little thing he tries to do, you republicans so called leaders aren't hurting. wake up or it will be too late to fix your mess. thank you
    mike doty
    warsaw mo. usa

    February 7, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Mike

    I agree. The Dems need to pull their collective cranial orb out from whatever dark and moist place it's stuck. BOTH parties are to blame but I think problem #1 is Pelosi. And I'm a Democrat.

    February 7, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. andrea

    Just knock IT OFF.

    February 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Simpliticus

    I think that the new RNC chairman should give the Dems at least eight years before he starts to castigate them. Lord Acton's message that absolute power corrupts absolutely certainly had been the case during the Bush administration. Everyone knows that politicians have egos, so this is nothing new. What is new however is the stark situation with which the Dems and President Obama have to concern themselves. George W. Bush acting as Richard III in Shakespeare's play did give up his country for something other than the righteous acts normally depicted for a national leader, but it may have been about getting out as quickly as possible before the onslaught of economic catastrophe begins, hence, the need for a horse! With all due respect, the RNC chairman should give enough time to the Dems before he can put these in the same stew of neglectful indignation as his Republican brothers!

    February 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Sue, NY

    The republicans are out of touch with every day Americans. If they are so dead set against this stimulus then I say don't give any of the relief to the states represented by those republicans....I wonder how that would go down.
    They have been in power for far too long and it's gotten us in a crisis ...time for them to shut up and sit down if they don't have anything new to add to the table.
    Obama has tried....they weren't interested...so they should just go home.

    February 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Rich Malloy

    Michael Steele's argument that we should not tax people and let them keep their money rather than send it Washington is a good one except he's missing one key point. A lot of people don't have any money because they don't have a job so if we let them keep their money which they don't have anyway, how will they spend it on anything to stimulate the economy? Maybe we should give more bonuses to wall street executives since they really know how to get the economy thriving with their puritanical and flawless free market ideas! The free market is a great thing if it's working for you. Doesn't seem like like it's working to good these days for the average person, Michael?

    February 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Hall Palmer

    This is a very straightforward explanation as to why this process has gone wrong.

    February 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    As opposed to the Republian's power going to our wallets???

    February 7, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Patricia T.

    Bush had eight years to totally screw up the country. And people are so free with criticism after Obama's been in office not even three weeks. The Republicans will continue to criticize and obstruct, not offer any help, blame the Democrats, and I guess wait . . . for what?

    Americans voted for change. And besides, we're really not so stupid that we can't see all this "concern for the economy" now from the Republicans for what it is. They weren't nearly this concerned when W was in charge! He had a blank check.

    Thank goodness for reasonable and thoughtful Republicans like Senators Collins and Snowe.

    We can't get out of this mess overnight. Let's try to show a little maturity and patience.

    February 7, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. scott

    Better that power goes to the democrats heads – where the brain resides – than where it took the republicans – ie to the pocketbooks of shortsighted wealthy powerbrokers trying to relive the Reagen era in an idealogical fantasy world.

    February 7, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. A Rod

    What in the heck is this guy doing here? We already gave the republicans a chance, 8 years of it. What are these guys even talking about?

    February 7, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Doug

    Yes, that is why we voted them in because the republican policies were destroying our country. So yeah, we're not really concerned with tax breaks for the rich at this point.

    February 7, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Peter (CA)

    Please tell me he is kidding.
    From 2001-2006, the Republicans steamrolled every idea they had through Congress and Bush signed off on it. In fact, after winning the midterms in 2002, Republicans would often hold committee meetings without the Democrats since their opinion meant so little.
    Now, this arrogant wanna-be wants to dictate terms?

    The PR battle has begun.

    February 7, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Tax Cuts

    Tax cuts seem to be the only rhetoric out of the die hard republican's mouths. That works great if you are making enough money for that to matter, what about the unemployed who were laid off because their company's board though their CEO needed a bonus for saving mine by laying off?

    February 7, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. debra

    This is so typical of Republicans finding the least qualified, most self-loathing blacks to send their racist messages, here that the other black guy, Obama, the one who is actually smart and qualified, is too uppity. This man should be ashamed.

    February 7, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Scott L

    This stimulus bill is going to destroy this country.

    Liberals and Democrats have NO FREAKIN CLUE.

    February 7, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Marina

    Well, that's really rich.

    February 7, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Terry B.

    Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, questioned whether Democrats’ power “has gone to their heads.”

    So said the ego maniacal moronic leader of the Grumpy Old Party.....

    Hey Mikey, the GOP was in charge for six years and the GOP gave us tax cut after tax cut saying it would "spur the economy and create more jobs". So tell me after how many millions of JOBS LOST, how is it working out for you so far.

    February 7, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Aunty

    Keep quiet Steele. First you explain your spending of the campaign money.

    February 7, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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