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. Frank, San Diego

    The Republicans are ready to do no more than enrich the rich and empower the powerful.

    It's a shame when anyone sells out to those who can buy others. Its truly pathetic when someone does it after his ancestors paid so high a price for the liberty they handed down to him.

    February 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. jess

    Some people don't seem to realize that it is businesses that will be building these new highways and bridges. It will be businesses that will be retrofitting public buildings for better energy efficiency. It will be businesses that will be making new wind turbines and solar cells. And they'll all need new employees to get the job done. This isn't (hopefully!) government spending targeted at increasing bureaucracy, and it's a far better way to create jobs than simple tax cuts alone.

    February 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Tosin from BALTIMORE

    Ha ha ha ha ha …thats the best quote of the day from Steele. I wonder if he thinks Bush is still in power lol.

    Keep railing against the democrats…more seats to loose in 2010, and more expanded majority.

    No New Ideas, No Solutions, No Help, Anti-Buy America (McCain)…The Republican Party approves of this message

    February 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. KD

    Such a stupid comment from Steele. Yeah, the Republicans found a real winner in him. Statements like Steele's does absolutely nothing to solve the differences between the parties and shows that he and the Republicans have nothing to offer. As far as PR, Steele has not only shot himself in the foot, he blew it clear off.

    February 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Tom in PA

    Uh..... right. There was never any ego in place for the last eight years. Obviously the repubs don't get it. If they continue to act as they have, they will contiue to get what they got this last election.

    February 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Craig

    Power going to their heads? Would that be the pot calling the kettle...ya know?

    February 7, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Don

    Let's see how cocky Michael Steele is after investigations into his long history of financial improprieties gets into full swing.

    February 7, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. CA Indie for Obama

    Steele will be distracted by the ongoing investigation of his Senate run campaign finances. Seems reports show he made some illegal transfers of funds to his defunct company and kept another $75,000 instead of sending to the RNC for down ballot congressional races. And he is commenting on egos?

    February 7, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. trickyguy

    Totally right AP. Tell me what the government will do to get the 3M people who lost their jobs last year back employed. They aren't worrying about taxes, they're worrying about starving to death.

    I don't agree with a lot of the spending crap I heard was in this bill. I really don't; but, neither do I agree with cutting taxes just so those who still have a job can spend more. How does that get people employed and back into their houses?

    How about a business tax credit for every new hire? How about letting unemployed Americans use their 401ks to live on without a tax penalty? What about forgiving up to four months of late mortgage payments for unemployed Americans?

    Why has no one thought of this? Aren't the folks in Washington smart enough to realize that we need to triage this problem and help those worst off first.

    February 7, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Di

    Michael Steele, needs to call President Barack Hussein Obama and tell him a "BIG THANK YOU", because without a Barack Hussein Obama win. The GOP would NEVER, EVER have elected him RNC Chair. He ought to see his position for what it is a SHAM, not very long from now HE, THEY...WE ....ALL of US will see who is really running the GOP. Michael Steele is a token installed to make us all believe that the GOP is changing. The GOP party is full of reactors not leaders. President Obama did not choose Secretary Hilary Clinton as VP, John McCain selected Sarah Palin. We, the American people who matters and who are open-minded selected Barack Hussein Obama now the GOP based elected/selected Michael Steele....Folks not all BLACK MEN are capable to lead it takes a special few and Barack Hussein Obama is among them.....and Michael Steele is not even a worthy follower.....so let’s not be fooled. He is as divisive as his predecessors. We need to thank our creator because with the Obama administration we can all be hopeful for a better tomorrow.

    February 7, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Liberal-Hater

    And Chris Manno,I feel the same way about you and the left in general.Your party is the worst thing that ever happened to this country,with or without Obama`s help.

    February 7, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. mojo3

    Pretell...put the pipe down Steele. You definitely have your wires
    crossed. It's the Republicans...your crew who has BLOWN it
    for the American people. And, before you begin to throw stones at President Obama (ie. sparring with, voting against Daschle)...you had better clean you house and get it in order. Just read you were being INVESTIGATED FOR MISCONDUCT relative to some monies
    you threw your sister's way and her company (among other things). The one who was married to Mike Tyson, your ex-brother-in-law. Also, have you come forward to inform the public about your own
    misdoings re your lacking to pay some taxes a few years ago; as
    well as a foreclosure being imposed on you and your wife? You're old enough to know...you should clean your OWN backyard before you start stepping into someone else's.

    "Check yourself...before you wreck yourself." Don't allow your position go to your head. And do remember: There are still quite a few in your party, who really don't wish to see you at your level. I suggest you concentrate on this!

    From one African American to Another.

    February 7, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. SueB

    We'll be a trillion and a half poorer and that's all this bill will accomplish. Unemployment will continue to rise because this bill does very little to create jobs. Foreclosures will continue to rise because this bill does little to infuse cash into the real estate and mortgage markets. They're handing a minute slice of the pie to everyone, including individuals, but not enough to make an impact. So when your little piece of the pie runs out, you still don't have a job and still can't pay your mortgage. What then – oh yeah, we'll blow another trillion and a half to do it all over again!

    February 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Sanjiv

    YOU IDIOTS LOST !!! DEAL WITH IT. Now you are hired an African -American as head of your party to counter act against Obama- just like you had a VP-Nominee as a female to get the votes in this past election. You failed in November 2008 and you will fail again. HELL WITH THE LAST 8 YEARS OF TORTURE !!!! THE BASTARDS HAVE LEFT WASHINGTON AND CHENEY SHOULD SHUT HIS MONTH – WE DON'T NEED FEAR MONGERING AGAIN. THAT IS WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ONLY KNOWS.

    February 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. You mean like how Bush's power had gone through his head?

    You're right Obama should incorporate more Republican ideas...or better yet Obama should make a statement that "The fundamentals of the Economy are strong."

    February 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. How does David Duke feels about Steele LOL

    Surely Steele knows the real whites of the RNC don't recognize him, he knows the David Dukes, Limbaughs and Hannity's don't want him in that position he to black.

    February 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Drew Williams

    The only thing that surprises me about Steele and the rest of the Republican leadership is that it took 3 WHOLE WEEKS to decide the Democrats have been a failure, after their 8 years! Who expected them to give them THAT much time. And they say the Republican aren't generous.

    Stay tuned ... for the next several years, we're going to have to sit and listen to the reasons why Obama victories aren't really victories, and Republican losses aren't really losses. What else can they do ... quietly accept the fact that Democrat investment actions may lead to positive results? Why, that'd put almost 30 years of their tax-cut, supply-side catechism where it belongs; in the garbage.

    February 7, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Bob

    It makes me sad when I read how shallow people are. Most of the comments above are useless for Uniting our country or for giving us Hope. President Obama is MY President too. I may be a Republican but I sure want what is best for our country. I appreciate the new ideas the the Democrats are proposing. However, I don't believe rubberstamping everything that comes down the pike is right also. Debate is crucial in any democratic political system. Neither side should be demonized for expressing theit opinions. The demonizing of George W. Bush started the day after his election. And lasted 8 long years. How did that unite us? I'm willing to put that behind me and look at things through a different perspective. My prayer is that President Obama and the Democrats do fix things. But let me participate and listen to my thoughts. We all can learn from each other.

    February 7, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. jake747

    Ego? Who's the one with the ego? Republicans had full power for 6 years and the Presidency for 8 years. They rammed their agenda down our throat with very little Democrat input. Why in the world are all the conservatives now expecting a nearly 50-50 deal? Are they for real?

    February 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Earl

    911, shattered economy, companies to large to die while average Joe goes down the toilet, 2 wars that went nowhere and no one is accountable. Yeh, great. Republicans are fantastic, great, represent the average American really well. If anyone can truly believe that, would you please send me all your money. I have some cliff side property with a great few.

    February 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. athomasr

    The ideas of democrats did not matter when the GOP was in charge and you people laughed in the faces of millions of people that they represented. Now it is a big deal that the democrats are in charge. You people are amazingly hypocritical. The GOP has alienated the overwhelming majority of minorities in this country. Steele couldn't even beat an old white guy in a hugely black populated state. Doom is the best word for what the GOP is facing in the future.

    February 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Oh No!

    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.
    So, what was done 'right for America' in last 8 years under a Republican administration? Tell you what Steele, email me the Republican ideas... I'll look them over and try putting a word in for y'all.

    February 7, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. mimi

    I have watched the antics of the GOP during the past few weeks and wonder if they forgot who was elected to lead this country out of the misery of the last 8 years. So now they will sit like spoiled children trying to continue their "great" solutions of that era that left us all in despair, and worrying about the future for our families, children and grandchildren, even great-grandchildren. The History of your "accomplishments" will long be remembered and leave us hoping for better times with the new administration that will endure.

    February 7, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    That's because your have the wrong solution, your ideas willl not work,
    You need money injected along with tax cuts,

    February 7, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Rob NYC

    To Irish NY and others: Remember the first bailout was Bush's. Please don't act like the Republicans are opposed to issuing billion dollar bailouts. Don't be hypocritical. To John McCain: Get over it you lost. What happened to your bipartisan pledge? Another hypocrite. To everyone else: Are you trying to create something helpful to Americans or are you looking to sabotage those efforts hoping that economic destruction will help the Republicans? Don't like the plan then use your wisdom and talents to make it better. Americans lives are at stake..who cares about your power needs!

    February 7, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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