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. trickyguy

    Sure, and you say this because Republicans have no egos? How about the famous Bush quote, "I am the decider". Oh yeah, and I rank Rush Limbaugh among the more modest folks around.

    Get real. Politics is rife with big egos. And, after running the country with an absolute majority up until two years ago, I get the sense that Republicans are a bit uncomfortable when the shoe is on the other foot.

    But they'd better get used to it. From where I sit, the American people are ready to throw out on their ear anyone who seems the slightest bit obstructionist.

    February 7, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Juge

    YOU want US to Listen. To what. Lower taxes for cheat and robber barons, reduce regulations on our products. What about quality and safety which we have given up by allowing imports that are not regulated. Gosh darn, maybe we should impose our regulations and human rights on those same imports...wouldn't that cut the rug out of those robber barons who want to keep on making 200% profit at our expense. ARE YOU LISTENING!!!

    February 7, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Former Republican

    Mr. Steele, I have a hint for you regarding saving the Republican party. Please look to Senator Susan Collins for advice.

    February 7, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. virginia for obama

    He's doing the samething Palin did at the RNC convention.

    Coming out the gate throwing punches. Stop looking for a fight and

    really start caring for the people.

    February 7, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Yea right!!

    What is Steele talking about! LOOK AT THE LAST 8 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Bush years took us through a period of deregulation, which is the main reason a lot of this has happened. The Republicans need to sit down & shut up. Mr. Bush & Mr. Cheney should be investigated. The SEC turned its head and did not do its job. President Obama has inherited a MESS brought on by the Republicans. The nerve of these people playing politics with our lives. People are ending their lives because of the pressures and stress from this fallout. It doesn't matter what Pres. Obama tries to do, they (the republicans and yes some democrats) will work against him because of his popularity. All of this is a shame. And I bet that if you check the taxes of ALL the Washington politicians, you would more than half that has some kind of decrepency.

    February 7, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. MrBlueSky

    I for one like this talk from Chairman Steele. It works to help ensure that Republicans will remain the minority party in Congress for years or decades to come...

    February 7, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Vanessa

    Right...Mr. Steele has no ego issues at all...

    Please...

    February 7, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. David

    "...and Republicans have offered innovative ideas to help struggling families and small businesses." Oh really? We're not talking about those successful tax cuts of the last eight years are we? Michael "FOX NEWS" Steele, get real.

    February 7, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. yvesanthony

    Be carefull I am an independent voter and usually vote repiublicans. I've voted for georges Bush twice. Last election I've voted democrat. Now I still consider myself an independent voter, but I have to tell you the reason that I've voted democrat is because of the arrogance and deception of the last 8 years. Be carefull, your choice of words this morning indicate that the arrogance of the republican party is still there. We want a diiferent politics, decent , respectable, honest conciliant , we want "CHANGE" from both parties Republican and Democrat. Now president Obama offered an Olive branch to the Republican. Accept it and let me see as a voter how he proceeds .
    Both parties should understand the mind of the voters,espacially us the independent voters.

    February 7, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Larry in Germany

    The Republicans pretty much got blown away in the last election so they really ought to just cooperate on this issue. After all, they had their chance and didn't do anything. The American people elected the current percentage of Dems vs. Reps and they're in the majority now. Last I checked, a majority doesn't have to ask a minority for their input if they don't want to. Now if the Republican Party began asking for accountability at the top levels of business for causing this mess, maybe they would get some postive attention from the majority. But, the Republicans have always been friends of big business.

    February 7, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Martin

    Mr. Steele, where have you been for the last 8 years? The last Administration's economic philosophy and theory was what “tax cuts” that sure stimulated the economy. Let’s ask the millions of unemployed American’s and the millions of people concerned about losing their jobs if tax cuts improved their livelihood. Probably not!!

    February 7, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. NJVote08

    One Nation under GOD, INDIVISIBLE... Hey, what is going on here?

    February 7, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Brian

    Do Michael Steele and the Republicans really expect us to fall for this cry of the Democrats not listening to them. The Republicans were in full control from 2001-2007 and they ran all over the Democrats. They pushed through their agenda of helping big business and the wealthy without really dealing with the Democrats. President Obama and the Democrats reached out and tried to work together to make a bipartisan bill to work for the American people. Unfortunately because of the financial crisis we are in no onw is 100% sur what will really work. Republicans are dreaming if they think they were going to get everything they wanted in the stimulus package, remember they lost the last two elections in 2006 and 2008 leaving them in the minority. I honestly don't remember in Bush's first six years, Bush or the Republicans reaching out so publically for bipartisan cooperation as President Obama has done in his first weeks in office. After years of bitter politics, we are trying to move forward together to fix this mess, mostly but not all created by the Republicans. They should be happy that the Democrats are willing to compromise because they did not for six years. They should understand that getting some of their ideas included is good because as of right now they are in the minority in Congress and a Demcrat is in the White House.

    February 7, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Pat

    Okay, you think it's bad after the last eight years. I shudder to think what it's going to be in four and, hopefully not, eight years with many, many trillion dollars in debt and businesses running to other countries because of our high corporate taxes, and foreign countries no longer willing to buy our paper because the debt is so low. The Dems are spending like drunken sailors, packing every social program they can into the package with no thought of how to continue financing it when these funds are gone.

    February 7, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. jim

    Gee! They must have taken lessons from the Republicans.

    February 7, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Martin

    Mr. Steele, where have you been for the last 8 years? The last Administration's economic philosophy and theory was what “tax cuts” that sure stimulated the economy. Let’s ask the millions of unemployed American’s and the millions of people concerned about losing their jobs if tax cuts improved their livelihood.

    February 7, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Kurt Barrett

    Sound concepts Mr Steele.....where is Barney Frank, the Banking King, when you need him to further BIG government while he "rescues" us?

    February 7, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Frost

    Michael Steele let us remind you .. who got us into this mess. Not the democrats and not President Obama. We and including the future inherited this from 8 long years of the republican party's failed touch of reality. You have made us the joke of many countries with your outdated ways of thinking. But it's never to late to change. But we need you to do it in a hurry.. yesterday.

    come next election.. many will get fired and be in the unemployment lines. Unlike the rest of us you have wealth to bank on. Will it be enough to last you the rest of your life without a book deal?

    Be the change .. or get out.. We the people are not going to take the crap any longer.

    Frost
    Tennessee

    February 7, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Al Ram

    Mr. Steele why don't you just answer an allegation from your former aide that you paid your sister's company during your senate bid for something that your sister did not do. FISHY!!!

    February 7, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Patriot

    Since the Democrats are so enamored with the Spendulous, then the Democrats should pay for it!

    February 7, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Jason

    I think that this is so funny , the replublicans are a bunch of whiners. the election is over, ur party was out of excuses, out of time and of luck, get over it! An to put Michael Steele as head of the party is a joke that the republicans just don't seem to get it! People didn't vote for PRESIDENT OBAMA, because of his skin color, they voted 4 him because of the necessity for a change this Country and the World needed. Grow up and Get over it.

    February 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. windfall

    this guy needs to clean up his own side of the street before pointing fingers like he does.

    the GOP has so many egos, it imploded.

    February 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Just shut up!

    As a Republican, let me just say this: Shut up Steele.

    February 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Janet from NH

    If Steele were a true leader he'd be telling the Republicans in Congress that the American people are hurting and they need to swallow their pride and COMPROMISE. That's what adults do. I don't see much of this on the Republican side except for Collins, Snowe, and Specter. As far as I'm concerned if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Steele and his fellow childish Republican friends need to grow up. Stop the whining! What will it take to get them to understand government is about US, not them and their huge egos!

    February 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Obama 2012

    You need to just consentrate on getting your party back up to speed buddy because sooner or later they will turn against you!!! Then you can ask them if their power has gone to their heads!!!

    February 7, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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