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. Sam

    Mr. Steele:

    If it was your intention to preserve what you have left in the Republican't base, you suceeded. If your speech however was to wow swingable citizens like me, you failed. Telling me what others' flaws are and failing to look yourself in the mirror is not the way to do it. If this was your intention to tell us that you are perfect, it did not work....it never has. If your party thinks that tax cuts are the sole ways to fix our problem, you failed even more. They are quite a few no tax or low tax countries are around the world and they all have something in common...they are third world countries. I will pay my fair share...just keep me employed.

    February 7, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Gail

    It's just so hypocritical for these disgusting GOP's to object so soundly to Obama's plan – when they said NOTHING when the Idiot W and Skank Paulson gave over $300BILLION of our dollars to banks – who in turn gave themselves BIG bonuses.

    February 7, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. John

    Is there anyone out there that takes this guy seriously? Republicans lost because they don't represent the majority of Americans and no whining about it is going to change that.

    The GOP is the Greedy Old Party and that's not going to change with a new face.

    February 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. RA

    Mr. Steele. I am an independent. Please do remember when you point a finger at someone you are pointing four other fingers at yourself. Talk of egos during the Republican dominance of the House, Senate and White House. Please give the new Congress, Senate and the President a chance to govern in a new style and deliver on promises.

    February 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Gail

    all they have to offer is tax cuts – failed policies of the past. They are all idiots.

    February 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Lillian

    We need to know whose pork-barrel programs. Don't whine!! and the tax-payers don't pay your party to be skeptical. Either propose better alternatives or ACTION NOW.

    February 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    If you need any more proof that the Republican Party just doesn't get it I don't know what to tell you. People are losing jobs, losing homes, losing health insurance, losing their retirement funds. It is time to stop playing games and get serious and do your jobs.

    Congress, all of congress, is skating on very thin ice. Tell me one person in Congress who has to worry about their health insurance or their pensions! WAKE UP AND GET TO WORK!

    February 7, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Ohio Citizen

    LOL! This is a joke isn't it.
    What is this guy doing? Does he realize he's supposed to be the voice of the Republican party? He sounds like Joe the Plumber with this amatuerish display.
    Ouch! Painful to see this.

    February 7, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Melody

    Amazing, the GOP still doesn't get it.

    February 7, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. donell moore

    The Republicans lost!!!!!!! and they lost because Americans rejected their policies. President Obama has tried to reach out to the Repubs but as usual they continue to try to implament there same old tired policies. And as for Michael Steele... He is not foolin anyone in the African_American comunity... We All know at least one UNCLE TOM...

    February 7, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Sharon-NY

    Good jobs and go far, Mr. Steele. I have respected you, Bush, and Sarah Palin.

    February 7, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Keith, Co

    Philosophical differences?, or Ideological Idiocy? will have to wait and see won't we Mr. Steele...

    Winning The election is key if you like having things your way pal.

    February 7, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. John

    Irishny can you really say that with a straight face? The republicans took a $3 Trillion dollar surplus and turned it into a $10 trillion dollar debt – fiscal conservative -NOT.

    February 7, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. dan

    Chris Manno February 7th, 2009 1:59 pm ET

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

    You are a typical extremists. I don't care if your liberal or conservative.

    Your a bigot. Just a political bigot. And all bigots should be locked up FOREVER. You should be fed to the child molestors, which are just as bad, and the two of of you can kill each other off.


    February 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. tony

    The level of economic illiteracy among Republicans is astounding. Businesses aren't spending. Consumers aren't spending. Since it is a worldwide recession, we won't be able to rely on an export-driven recovery. Folks, if government doesn't start spending, we'll slide into a depression/deflationary trap (a la US in the 1930's and Japan in the 1990's). In response, to this crisis all the Republicans can do is chant "tax cuts."
    Where was the concern about spending was when we (under Republican leadership) were running 500,000,000 dollar deficits– in times of prosperity?

    February 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. bruce

    Wasn't it the Republicans who forced the bank bailouts in a mad rush on the American people with no strings attached? Please don't tell me that you are looking out for the people...be truthful, you are looking out for those who you can benefit from. Mr Steele according to Saturday's Washington Post , you should be more concerned with your campaign paying for your sister's defunct company for services that were never obtained rather than stirring trouble among Congress.

    February 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Z




    February 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. the informer

    You guys are so uninformed its shocking. The democrats have controlled congress since 2006, look it up. They are the ones who have controlled spending bills for the past 2 years, again, look it up. This financial crisis occured because of Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and some other democrats who are now working for obama! I guess ignorance is bliss huh? And just one last point, have any of you ever gotten a job from a poor guy? Maybe if that rich guy had more money, he would give you poor guys more jobs! Hope that $1000 dollar check he sends you lasts till next election!!!!

    PS thank china for all that obama is about to lend us!!!

    February 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Sayitso

    Open your eyes, listen, listen to everyone, democrat and republican. Then make an educated decision. Michael Steele is actually changing the republican party, fired everyone within the RNC. He's similar to the pilot of flight 1549 which was ditched into the Hudson, steady, levelheaded and calm under pressure. He's very much like Ronald Reagan, someone who deserves to be listened to and respected. Keep listening to both sides, who's filling us with fear right now? Who after only 3 weeks time is not sticking to all the promises he made, including promising hope but 2 days ago filling us with fear. Fear that our country will fall without the stimulus going through. Change we can 'believe' in???

    February 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Jane/Atlanta

    Michael Steele is right......there is no way the Dems haven't had this plan in place long before January and they have methodically schemned to have Obama RUSH this through.....This is a joke because it is not in America's BEST INTEREST.... THAT IS WHY THE REPS AND SOME DEMS ARE ACTUALLY WAKING UP AND SEEING THE PORK.......

    February 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Laura

    What good do tax cuts do if people are out of a job? What money are they earning then to keep?

    We already tried it your way for the past 8 years. Been there, done that - and it failed miserably. Look where we are now. You can't see the forest for the trees!

    February 7, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. C. Stanton

    You've got to be kidding. You better look over your shoulder.....remember the name BUSH !!!

    February 7, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Latney

    Dear Mr want to be,
    America has spoken loud and clear. So please let the President do the job we appointed him to do. Where was your voice the last eight years ? Why do you think you know all the answer all of a sudden.

    February 7, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Big D

    Really? Seriously? That's the 'new' message from the GOP? It seems to me that the pat administration had waaaayyy bigger egos than the current one. And the R's in Congress had then, and continue to have now, a way more falsely inlated idea of their own ideas. It's clear that the new administration is seriously trying to seriously solve this nation's problems. The old admin and the current R's? I have no idea what they're trying to do, other than create distractions and obstructions.

    February 7, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Cathy, Peoria AZ

    Mr Steele, I think you would be looking at your own party – the GOP is culpable in this mess much more than the other side of the aisle.
    That said, there is enough blame to go around – perhaps more cooperation on both sides would be helpful. YOU LOST! The ideas of the last 8 years have not worked, or have you not noticed!
    Spending in needed for this stimulus package to work. Tax cuts will not put people back to work, will not help people kepp their homes. Spending on infastructure programs will. Tax cuts have not worked in the past and trickle down economics is a joke!
    If the unemployment numbers rise, if foreclosures rise, if not being able to get a loan to buy a car, a home etc continues to be impossible, this recession will get worse. Good luck getting ANY republican elected then!

    February 7, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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