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. Mike

    blah blah blah. We dealt with 8 years of bullying, lying and corruption from your party, which also included zero bi-partisan efforts. An overwhelming majority voted for Democrats so get over it because the majority wants want the Dems are doing. Don't like it? Move to another country. How about Iraq?

    February 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Barbara Campbell

    If the Republicans have "good ideas" why are we in such a mess now?

    Suddenly they're posturing as fiscal conservatives, now that the Democrats want to invest in the American people rather than in the neocons' corporate cronies.

    February 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. MRT

    I guess the republicans didn't get the message that the public is tired of this mudslinging at every turn... I hope the voters remember this when it comes time to elect them again...They just can't help themselves.. can't stick to the issues, only name calling.

    February 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Lee Bartholomew

    Hahaha. Not really, Republicans power went to their heads and for some reason still think they are in power. Do'h

    February 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. BD

    Mr. Steele the American people have had enough ,with your ideas. In case you haven't noticed.

    February 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Steve in Louisville

    I wonder if the Republicans have lost their brains!

    As President Obama said the other night, SPENDING is the entire point of an economic stimulus bill.

    Be sure to check Bob Herbert's discussion of this on the editorial page of the New York Times. And remember, the reason we're in this mess is mainly because the REPUBLICANS can only think of two things: tax cuts and deregulation. That's their answer for everything. And those answers have failed us all utterly.

    February 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. WDM

    The republicans are making me sick. They have one goal, to destroy Obama, no matter what the cost to the country.

    February 7, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Ryan

    Of course he'd question it...because reublicans are familar with being power crazy. And hypocrisy is thier specialty.

    February 7, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Gieuseppe

    The heigth of arrogance from arrogant people is when they charge "arrogance" by others when they no longer are in position to be as arrogant as they once were. Deprevation of loftiness can often lead to dizziness of mind and body and to charges of "arrogance" in others. On, woe to those of once lofty position who lacked lofty ideals but never lacked ARROGANCE............

    February 7, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Anna

    Republicans have no good ideas – that's why they keep losing elections. Running as far away from their policies as we can is what will help America.

    February 7, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Gerri

    I didn't hear Mr. Steele saying anything like this when his disaster of a president, Mr. Bush, was in power!!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Is it too early to tell this guy to shut up?

    February 7, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. charlie

    why would the Democrats include failed Republican tax policies when they have already been tried and failed over the past 8 years. Not listening to Republican ideas? What do you call Obama meeting with both house and senate republicans. What about the now compromised stimulus that includes 40%A tax cuts. By the way your last president, a republican, didn't listen to democratic ideas at all. The people voted to reject the failed economic policies of the past 8 years.

    February 7, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Carolyn Crawford

    How much more of this nonsense must we keep listening to. I am sick and tire of Washington living in their bubbles and the rest of us have to suffer. Hello, there are plenty of people out here who have lost their jobs and what are you going to do about it. I truly, hope not the same thing we have been doing for the past eight years. I did not work. I don't ever have to hear the word bipartisan again. It is amazing on how incestous Washington is. Then again, I mean how incestous washington, wall street and the media are.

    February 7, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Ken

    How quickly Mr. Steele forgets how Repigs tried to shut the Dems out completely, including threats to ban filibustering, when they were in power.

    I don't recall him complaining about the $500 billion we spent in Iraq or the $700 billion Bush stimulus package that bailed out their rich Wall Street buddies.

    Note to Steele: Quit whining and take some responsibility for the mess we're in. Better still, offer some solutions that don't include tax cuts for your wealthy friends.

    February 7, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. xdog62

    Just saw that he is under federal investigation for campaign finance violations. Perhaps a good time for him to keep a low profile while the democrats and media have fun with this one.

    February 7, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Dorothy Stickley

    Good Lord, where does this fool get off taking about egos? Look at the investigation into his campaign financing and his answer that it was his money and he'd do with it as he pleased. Steele is a going to be an obstructionist in every possible way. His choice as the chairman of the Republican Party shows they have no intention of working to help the average American family.

    February 7, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Blue IN

    Republicans: Not so great at leading a country, but they sure can throw a fit, feign contempt, and stomp their feet. And I love the idea of Rush Limbaugh becoming the voice of and handing down orders to the revamped conservative party. Does it smell like a dying pachyderm in here?

    February 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. suzyku

    This nasty little man with a huge ego has the nerve to question anyone else on ego?! What a joke! The RNC thought by electing a man for the color of his skin rather than his views they would somehow attract new people, they don't get that it's not the skin color, it's the content and character of a person that counts. This idiot has nothing new to offer, he's proud to be a "bushie", he's a hardlined, small minded, petty man offering up more of the same of the dick cheney line of thinking, evil and bad!

    February 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Nate

    Way to go Steele. Tell it like it is.

    February 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Fred Evil

    LOL! You Republicans are the ones RESPONSIBLE for this mess, and you point the finger at the DEMS?!

    Excuse me, but when did the GOP EVER turn down a Bush request for money? We're here because of the GOP's incompetence and fiscal irresponsibility!

    That being said, the Dems aren't spectacular, but they DO have a better record of fiscal management than the GOP does, FAR better.

    I think that $240 million for the film industry is silly, and there ARE a number of other things that have no business here, but it's awfully convenient for the Grand Old Pork party to be claiming abuse of this bill, when they abused HUNDREDS of bills during the Bush reign.

    February 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Barbara

    The 'political pork' that the Republicans keep talking about, is not in the Stimulus Bill, it's in the Republican politicians who are standing in the way of the country's economic progress. The Republicans are like a 'Gigantic, Gelatinous, Doorstop' standing in the way of our countries economic future. Man up Republicans!

    February 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Jason B.

    Is Steel the scapegoat for the RNC? They could have elected a white man, from an all white country club. They have elected, Steel as their front man, that way no one can complain that a white man is being racial toward a black man. Way to go RNC. You elected a better choice than Bush.

    February 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Zion

    Steele, I'm questioning ego on both sides of the isle. It's amazing to me when Republicans had control of both houses they rammed their legislation through and never tried to compromise with the Democrats. Now that the Dems are in power, they must compromise or be accused of having inflated egos. I believe both sides could have done better with negotiations. We can't devil all Democrats just as we can't devil all Republicans. Some were truly for bipartisanship.

    February 7, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Cynthia

    Apparently steele's so called power has gone to his head. President Obama has sincerely and honestly tried the bipartisan thing. It didn't work so now it's time for him and the Dems to do what they were elected to do. So go back to the BUSHES that you crawled from under.

    February 7, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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