February 7th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
6 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. REG in AZ

    Politics and politicians are literally sickening and that includes Mr Steele trying for attention. The country has drastic and growing problems and all they want to do is play politics. The Republicans want to fault and stall whatever the Democrats propose so they can say ‘see we told you’ when anything may come up short and the Democrats obviously tried to pad the package with excessive spending. Hearing them talk and pretend is disgusting. None of them ever let go of their biased and self-indulgent positions yet they talk (and only talk) bipartisanship. The two-party system is a failure as it doesn’t honestly and responsibly serve the people but rather it is just a competitive game, aggressively and arrogantly played by the politicians for their egos and own gain. Look at the major players and you see the egos, the insincerity, the pretense, the dishonesty, the selfishness and the unconscionable antics, the insanity: Pelosi, Palin, Cheney, Bush, Kyl, Rove, McCain, all of late and there are many more just as bad from both sides. As I said, it is sickening.

    February 7, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. dawgdoc

    I love all this talk about not including republican ideas. Please remind me of all the democratic ideas signed into law by George Bush when republicans held both houses. They seem to have slipped my mind...oh wait, nevermind, they don't exist. Cry me a river. Your ideas are old and tired. All we've heard for 8 years is "don't worry, THIS time tax cuts will work". Fool me once shame on you, fool me 15 times, shame on me.

    February 7, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Greg

    Take it to them Michael. Show what it takes to fight the D's when the leader has a set. It is abou ttime that we had someone with those qualifications in that position.

    February 7, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Sally

    Mr. Steele has his own issues to worry about. See today's Washington Post "Steele's Campaign Spending Questioned "

    February 7, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Marco Vianti

    What good is a tax break if you are unemployed? As usual the republicans don't get it.

    February 7, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Chadd Christiansen

    Republican ideas should be left out of this bill – and every other bill for that matter. Their "good" ideas are what got us to this low point in the first place. The Republicans need to finally except, after two resounding elections in which they got their butts handed to them, that their ideas suck, and they need new ones. The American people are not buying what they are selling any more. The majority of the American people voted for change this November, and that is what we should get. I really hope the Dems don't bend over backward to look "bipartisan", or fall back from the lofty goals set out by the movement that brought President Obama to office. If all we get after a couple of years is a slow drift back toward the center/right, there should be no reason why those same Americans that elected Obama shouldn't protest in the streets and force there elected officials to truly represent them, instead of the same old establishment.

    February 7, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Lib4

    yeah whatever...your party and its anti-regulatory and borrow and spend Iraq War policies drove the country into a ditch and now we must trust you with pulling it out of the ditch...sure yeah whatever

    February 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. max

    Wait a minute, isn't this guy in the party of Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Ashcroft .. 4 of the most arrogant, pig headed, corrupt politicians of ALL time ??? Isn't this the party still bickering about a dress code while the country continues to spin out of control because of their policies ??? Republicans are a joke

    February 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Susan

    It is the people who put Senators in office. We are to the point in our economy that it SHOULD NOT matter who is a Democrat or Replublican. The senators are there to help the people.

    Quit the stupid bickering over who is a Democrat or Replublican.

    It is childish.

    February 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Sal

    your party is dead, get use to it

    February 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Nate Hussein

    It's always "our way or no way" with the repugs. At least the Prez is trying to work with you.

    February 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. andrea

    I think it is the other way around. Democrats are ready to work with Republicans when they can be reasonable – they have not been able to do that yet. I am soooooo tired of conservative GOP's – only when it suits them. We had over 5 years of wasteful Spending in Iraq, I do not remember the GOP crying over THAT. Change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Beth/Boston

    I Love Mr. Michael Steele. I think he is logical and will do much for the country and the RNC. We've got to find simple solutions to the complex problems. Along w/Mr. Steele's proposals – what about an across the board 4% mortgage rate? Talk about stimulating the economy!! I believe the banks would still make $$ as the Fed Rate = .5%

    The Dems were v. good at putting the halo around President-elect and now President Obama – it's called Marketing. We are finding that there is no - Proof in the Pudding.

    Obama is a mystery, he isn't a leader – he needs a leader.

    February 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Rita

    At a time when we are going through so much, the last person we need to hear from is Michael Steele. He, and the republicans, are the ones who are "power mad". That's why we're in the position we're in now. No oversight, no controls, no balance. The only reason he's the head of the RNC is because President Obama was elected. If Obama has not been elected, the RNC wouldn't have given Steele the time of day – and he knows it. Stop whining and help out Steele. Do something good for a change.

    February 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. American

    "comprehensive Republican plan would lower taxes for all working American families" So sad to bad for those that lost their jobs and are no longer "working families."

    February 7, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Charles from Atlanta

    Gee.. Which party is that double our national debt to 10+ trillions for last 8 years? I think Republican party simply forgot that Bush is a Republican. We have crisis and needs to take action now to avoid it becomes a catastrophe. No one likes to have this bill but has no choice. Not only you don't have any new ideas but also your old ideas have been proven wrong. So please shut up and work together with Democrats.

    February 7, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Sam

    Did anyone else notice that the Republicans chose him because he's black?

    February 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. Byron in Minneapolis

    "Why don't we cut that rate in half to give instant buying power to every working American family?"
    Yeah, those Bush Tax Cuts worked so well. Oh wait...

    February 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. brian

    Sure Mr Steele – good ideas from the GOP like the ones that have gotten us into this mess. A tax break for the rich is the only thing the GOP can come up with. I ask one question. When did the GOP ever consider DEM ideas? Mr Steele it is too early to revise history.

    February 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Frederik

    Very funny hearing the GOP say that the Democrats's power has gone to their heads. During their years in power they never took the Democrats serious and completely steamrolled them. Now that they're on the other side they are whining.

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. John

    Mr Steele, from what I have been reading and hearing from many news media about what your so called Republicans and yourself have been trying to do, to either stall or even go so far as scrapping this bill to help normal every day Americans, I think it is you and your party that has lost touch with every day Americans. Why is it that your party was not up in arms about the stimulus package President Bush gave the financial institutions without much rules attached to it? Why are you all so against it now when it is for every day Americans? Your so called logic amazes me. Get off your high horse and do something for the people of your country instead of stalling tactics that will end up hurting more and more Americans every day instead of helping out more of your corporate friends with all these tax breaks. Tax cuts have been proven not to work but yet all you and your party seems to do is want more of the same. Americans have stated loud and clear in one voice that they do not want Republican ideas for their country. Either get with the program or step aside and let someone else do the work Americans have voted for. Like you and your party have stated when you were in power. Your either with us or against us. Either your part of the solution or your part of the problem.I think its you and your party sir, who still think that you have the power in your country. Wake up Mr Steele, America has spoken and you and the rest of the Republican Party are no longer revelent.If your party keeps up this chirade you have been doing the last week or so, your party will end up obsolete come next election.

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. Bill

    The American public suffered through 8 years of the Republican's "good ideas", and now face the greatest crises in generations becasue of them. It is Republican egos that need to realize that Americans voted for real and significant CHANGE in the way the government does things and gave the Democrats a stong mandate to deliver it. Even with their change in leadership, the RNC just doesn't get it but better start if they hope to avoid the same fate as the other dinosaurs.

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Nothing but an attack dog disguised behind a racial curtain. Republicans and their puppets...

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Pat

    I completely agree with Steele. The democrats have gotten so cocky since they're "messiah" has one the presidency. They have made so many promises to work on both sides of the aisle. I have seen none of that so far with this so-called stimulus package. They need to wake up and get back to reality and think about the American people as a whole, not their reputation.

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Trysh in Los Angeles

    "Republicans stand ready to work with reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America.

    Sweety, we won the election...we have been reasonable with YOU. If Americans thought you knew what you were doing, we would have voted in your candidate. Again...you need to learn that bi-partisan does NOT mean 'do it the Republican way". Your way doesn't work.

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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