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. cmd

    "Good ideas… lots of them..." Please list ALL the good ideas that the dems aren't including in the bill. So far all I've learned is that the republicans want to cut taxes.

    February 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. hattie

    please do not worry mr. steele will not be over the RNC long because where i live the republican are not please with him beening their chair person mr. David Duke will see to that for sure. so look out southern democrats you can win in 2010 for a seat in washington so lets get to work. the real republican do not want their party to be laid by a black man for sure i am a southern person am i no that much.

    February 7, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Lynn

    Don't make me laugh!! Egos?? How can the Republicans, who ran the most un-bi-partisan congress for the last 12 years and got us into the mess we are in, possibly criticize anybody else's ego!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Anthony

    You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Steele. So much for President Obama's commitment to bibartisanship–the President has held up his end of the promise and instead of positive rhetoric coming out of your mouth as the new RNC leader–you espouse negativity. Shame on you and your obstructionist party. You are all so envious of our new leader, you can't see past what is right for this country. You had 8 years of quadrupuling the debt and growing government (something you abhore?, oh please!). Get on the train or get out of the way. We have12 million out of work and no end in sight of getting of of the mess your party drove us to.

    February 7, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Griff

    Manual Labor is not enough in a Technical-World... Machine War starts again...

    February 7, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Michael

    nclaw441 wins the prize for the dumbest person on the planet, with Steele a close second. Reducing regulation, cutting corporate taxes, and "making things easier for businesses" is EXACTLY what we've been doing for eight years, and look where it got us. There is a good reason Republican ideas aren't, and shouldn't, be seriously considered in this plan, THEY HAVE NO GOOD IDEAS, THEIR IDEAS GOT US INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    February 7, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. republicans hate america

    Republicans like to give billions of dollars in no bid contracts to foreign companies and war profiteering.

    February 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Central Scruitinizer

    nclaww441...so if your arm gets ripped off my a machina at your job , you promise you wont sue? Relax OSHA? GREEEEAAT Idea!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Mo

    Mr. Steele the only reason this country faces many difficulties is because of your colleagues to begin with. It was the republican party that took this once known the land of opportunities, a once very respected nation into a suffering nation, many are without jobs, many can't send their children to school, many can't afford to pay their mortgages, and the list goes. It is your party that had let their reign of power into their heads, Heck I would rather give the democrat a chance to clean up your party's messes. So Republicans please stop whining and get this stimulus approved. oh and another thing if the democrat did let the power go into their head, then explain to me this why is it that President Obama have tried many times to rally your party and his alike to work together. Mr. Steele this is no time for politics and complaints, it is time that you get your party together, and begin to work with the democrats to find a solution to help us the people, otherwise by 2010, more repubs will be out of the job since people will start supporting the democrats.

    A republican for Obama, and the democrats.

    Go Democrats

    February 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Joe

    Why do democrats keep saying the last 8 years were ruled by republicans? Weren't the last two years, the worst two years, ruled by democrats????????????????????????????????


    February 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Elaine

    Wow, alot of republican haters here. But misinformed. Bill Clinton put into law that Banks HAD TO give home loans with zero down, no job verification, no credit check required. GW Bush tried to repeal this but was shot down everytime.

    As far as our business, they are the most TAXED businesses in the world. Why are they laying off like they are? They are adjusting their bottom line, getting ready for O'Bama's socialist views that are coming their way.

    Just look at how some of the other countries are re-acting to Obama, they know he is a song and dance artist. Interesting Dems forget the economy started slippping about 2 years ago, Wonder who was in control then of Congress and Senate? Oh yeal, the democrats.

    Democrats really need to get educated on the issues.

    In the stimulus package, a water park for Florida? Get real, where are the LASTING jobs in that? I hope the Republicans stand strong and dont vote for the joke of plan put forth by Peloski.


    February 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. ActionNow

    Republican Ideas not being included what a joke.
    8 years you Republicans posting here complaining about Democrats and Obama had the power and did whatever you wanted .
    Now the shoe is on the other foot and your crying and whining like spoiled children.

    You spent over a Trillion dollars for your President Bush who created a mess in the MiddleEast.
    That the Republicans and their voters supported .
    Chairman Steele needs to face reality and realize that its the GOP who is messing things up not the Democrats who are now in power.

    If the GOP still controlled the Whitehouse we would be in a Depression already and we might still be going their if the GOP has their way with President Obama.
    President Obama fight back and realize you a good person that tried to be inclusive of the GOP but they just blocked every attemp at having a good relationship with the Democrats to get things done in a positive way for the American people.

    The GOP will lose more seats in both Congress and the Senate in 2010 if they keep this up.

    Progressive ideas is what is needed not more of the same old garbage that the GOP presents .

    February 7, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Jon

    For those few commentors saying that Steele was only picked as a ploy to "show diversity", he won his position fairly in a convention, not by selection. And, for that matter, he didn't just pop out of the woodwork. Mr. Steele was governor of Maryland, ran for Senate, and has been an active Republican for many, many, many years. The dilemma for liberals who voted for Barack based on his race (which is a huge number of liberals, by the way) is going to be that they will now be the racists when they start taking an "Uncle Tom" stance against Mr. Steele. For so long now, if you opposed the election of Barack Obama, or you oppose his ideas, you are a racist. So, obviously, if liberals oppose anything Mr. Steele has to say..........what are they?

    February 7, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. John

    If Mr Steele would look back when the GOP had control of Congress maybe he would recognize how the other party is left out of the process.

    February 7, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. J.C.

    The Republicans and their trickle-down philosophy have run everything into the ground and their Party Chairman has the audicity to make these statements? How insulting to the American people. As if we do not understand what has occured under Republican control for the past three decades...

    February 7, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. rob

    I agree that the stimulus package has a lot of pork spending, however, tax cuts are not the answer. Republicans will argue that tax cuts were what got us out of the 2001 recession. It was actually just a coincidence. The deregulation of the financial industry is what got us out of the recession, and subsequently put us back into it. What little extra money tax cuts will provide each month is not enough to stimulate this economy. It will not pay for a mortgage or buy a flat screen tv.

    February 7, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. virginia for obama

    Mike. . . you talk a good game, but MOST AMERICANS ARE LOSING OR LOST their jobs. And why could'nt you RETHUGS fight this hard and try to save america from this mess when GWB was in office. Most of us did'nt know you all were alive until NOW.

    Either you all don't get it.

    Or you all don't care because its not hurting you.

    February 7, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Mr. Steele, look at your party over the last 8 years and ask that question, again!

    Quite frankly sir, the only reason you were elected RNC Chairman has more to do with your compexion and that of the President, just like Palin was chosen for VP when Hillary was not!

    And you think the Dems have ego issues?!?!?!?!?!

    Your party is determined to never co-operate with anybody because you're no longer in power – a power you badly abused at the expense of the American people!!!

    February 7, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Bill

    Republicans you lost get over it!

    February 7, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Simmy


    Don't be cruel.....If you say anything against those who say anything against Mr. Steele, you're racist, and a misguided malcontent. Ha. Ha...........................

    February 7, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Bill in JAX

    It is clear that the Republicans have wasted no time in determining that positioning for the 2010 and 2012 elections is a higher priority than working cooperatively with Democrats to help the American people. Since there is no "silver bullet" to cure our economic mess, the Senate and House bills contain a mix of spending stimulus and tax cut strategies, some Democrat leaning, others Republican leaning. Yet the Republican Party has chosen to risk legislative failure altogether, in order to create a future campaign message. Perhaps this remarkable lack of ethics is simply reflective of our extreme media dominated culture.

    February 7, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. LLT

    This guy is a loser. Just trying to pedal the same tired, failed policies in a new package.

    February 7, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Clint

    The Republican party is clearly bankrupt of any original ideas. As a Black American (I don't refer to myself as African American) I have to chuckle (to myself) when the only answer they have to counter President Obama is their own personal Black guy...What the Republicans don't remember is that originally President Obama was not well accepted by many Black Americans (As well as women and other minorities) until he proved himself as being a qualified candidate. For a couple of reasons President Obama seemed to have appealed to White Americans early on. What are Michael Steele's qualifications? Or will he always be seen for what he is... a token that the Republicans can point to and say they are an all-inclusive party now.

    Additionally, Republicans previously held the Congress, Senate and the Presidency. They excluded and muscled their legislation through while negating input from the Democrats... and they were proudly unapologetic about it. Now they are demanding inclusion for themselves. Reminds me of watching one 2 year old at another 2 year old's birthday party saying "mine mine mine" when the gifts are being opened.

    If this is the best the Republicans can do they need to hit the reset button and try again. They are certainly not the shiniest item in the toy box. As a Democrat I can honestly say we need a credible opposition party to counter the far left members of my party. The Republicans are not that credible opposition party our country needs to keep our government balanced and focused.

    February 7, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Joyce Becker

    Mr Steele got it all wrong, the republicans want to have business as usual with tax cuts for the rich that will not stimulate the economy at all as it will NOT promote jobs. This is the same failed economy that they have had for a long time that has put America in such a bind. Doesn't he know how many jobs have been lost in the last few months and how the people have been suffering trying to make ends meet, if there are no jobs families can't spend and what little money they have they need for food. The Democrats are facing reality and know that we have to borrow to spend more for JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, not just tax breaks for the rich. Jobs won't be made by just giving folks a bit more in their pay check, which will be used to pay down debts and other things like that. The trickle down theory never did work and it never will. It is not the egos of the Democrats that need fixing it is the stupidity and stubborn nature of the Republicans thinking that they can keep doing the same old thing again and again and get a different result.

    February 7, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. DJ

    People are to stuck on politcal party bashing. Look at the facts, spending money on many of the pork barrel projects does not help jobs. People are loosing homes, utilities, their health care. You can blame the GOP or the DEMs but the fact is they both stood by over the years collecting money from lobbyist and other special interests. Obama my same he got this mess but he was also responsible for 900 million in pork spending requests for Illinois. None of them are free of guilt. Instead of finger pointing in these comments and blogs we need to band together, be only one party, AMERICAN and tell all the bozo's in DC that enough is enough. It is time for the americans to ensure we return this country its rightful place as world leaders.

    February 7, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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