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. Jav

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

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    Remember what the Republicans did when in power and how much what they advocate now sounds so much like what Bush-Cheney always proposed. Words like 'bipartisanship', 'responsible', 'honesty', 'change',, seem to be words politicians, both parties, know how to say but not how to act out.

    February 7, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Pierre Podo

    Dear Micheal,
    where were those Good Ideas, I mean very GOOD IDEAS, you had when Bush was in Power? This is a False game,and I believe the Republicans placed you there, to do it for them. You look different on a HOT seat? But that doesn't change your parties failed ideas.
    American are FED up with those FED and GOP games. Let sleeping dogs lie. Don't let the American peopl jump on you. It's time you get your party to first appologise for the evil and drained down economics, you practised for eight years. Note than McCain could have won the Presidency , bcs he is a better and a tested leader. But your party policies and Politics failed him, not the American People. So take your wise complaint somewhere else. To Texas(If I may help you?)

    February 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. dj

    I think it's interesting for the RNC to now complain that their ideas have been left out, when during the harsh reign of Bush-onomics (that led us here in the first place) there were NO Democratic ideas included anywhere! If the Republican administration had cared to do what is best for this country, they wouldn't have left all forces to run unabated into this downward spiral. It's time for them to sit back and let other ideas rise to the forefront – we tried it their way, and it didn't work. Stop trying to advertise that you champion the people – you champion media coverage & unfettered personal power. (And those of us who aren't even at the top of our industries saw the economic downturn coming when Bush was re-elected – all you had to know was how history has always treated a wartime economy that didn't invest in any domestic policy.) Now it's time to invest in US.

    February 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. therealmarie

    Michael Steele shoul provide answers to questions about his shaky (possibly illegal) finances.

    February 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. ohnation

    Let's not forget it's because of the Republicans that we are in this mess. They were the ones in power that let this happen and now all of a sudden they know what is best? How about letting go of your egos and working with the president. He has been in office two weeks and you haven't worked with him at all.

    You Republicans are the reason jobs went overseas. the reason corporate greed was allowed out of control to rip us all off, the reason our environment is in a disaster and the reason our energy relies on foreigners.

    Why should we trust you are looking out for us common folk now? What have you ever done for regular people? Yu are always looking out for the rich. You can change the face in charge but can't change your greedy selfish ways.

    February 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. KU

    Steele! GOP ideas have been tested and they've failed. Stop living in the past. This guy is a total waste of time. It's time for action and not rhetoric.

    February 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. energy

    My fear is that Mike Steel may be too naive to lead the Republican Party. Truly, I do not know what he stands for. One day he is fighting Bush, another day, you will see him alienating the party's rising star Sarah Palin. He has to determine if he sought the position for position sake or if he did so on ideological grounds.

    Republican Party is made up three distinct groups:

    McCain Republican–Moderates
    Palin Republican–Conservative
    Bush Republican–Non-ideologues

    So far, Mr. Steel is at odd with two. So, how can he be taken seriously?
    Of course, Steel belongs to the McCain fold which failed American in 2008.

    I am an African American Republican, but Steel needs to tone it up abit to succeed against the great fear Monger Obama!

    February 7, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    Mr. Steele, In all fairness I gave you kudos for your newly appointed poistion. Please don't let me regret that. As a Repub my self, I think it's in the best interest of the party, and the citizens of this country,if all hands are down at this point. This country is in worse condition than the media has let on, it's time for real cooperation to make it solid again. One thing that erks me more so lately is that the elephants Priorites always seem backward.....Again, I'll say my die hard to the bone Repbulican , now deceased , Grandfather would kringe to see this party so "'insane"...go back in time, recapture what the real meaing of Repub is....then bring it forward into the future.

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

    This guy had got that right! The libs are nothing but a bunch of pompus liberal freaks that want power that they think they deserve! They think that all the money around is there's! It is time to throw these jerks out the door! It sucks to be a lind! LOL!

    February 7, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. James A. Scott

    Sounds like he's a hater. And by the way, they would have to not tax me at all in order to get me to spend – and I would use it to pay my outstanding debts.

    February 7, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Mike in Jacksonville

    Let us end the partisan bickering. I am sure had John Mccain won the election he would not would not have been as gracious as President Obama. It would have been my way or the highway. Repub losers. Putting their power ahead of this nations interests.

    February 7, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Doug

    I think i know these great ideas. Tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for corporations? Come on trickle-down economics!

    February 7, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Polar Bears Against Palen

    You've got to be kidding me. Sit down and shut up, Uncle Tom.

    February 7, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Gerry In Toronto

    Before Steele starts to critize others he should answer these charges levelled against him.

    Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.

    Federal agents in recent days contacted Steele's sister, a spokesman for Steele said yesterday.

    The claim about the payment, one of several allegations by Alan B. Fabian, is outlined in a confidential court document. Fabian offered the information last March as he was seeking leniency for himself during plea negotiations on unrelated fraud charges. It is unclear how extensively his claims have been pursued. Prosecutors gave him no credit for cooperation when he was sentenced in October.

    February 7, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Steele is a good honest man

    This whole process could have been better managed and could have been bi partisan with really good ideas to help Americans. But, despite all his rhetoric to the contrary about change, when it came to his first and likely largest test as president, instead of having his white house staff draft the stimulus bill to insure that it got off on the right foot, in the right direction, and with the right size and make-up, Obama failed to act, and he sub contracted out the drafting of this watershed legislation to nancy Pelosi, the Queen Spending Bee of DC. What followed was a disaster. Pelosi put up a Christmas tree and all the Democratic congressman hung their favorite earmarks on it. Even the Denocratic Senate were shocked by the Pork in the House version. Obama showed his inexperience in his first, and likely most important piece of legislation. He screwed up ! And in doing so, he may not have helped us out of the recession; likely did not save jobs, homes, or retirement savings, and left us in the largest deficit in the history of the World.

    February 7, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. KMP

    Yeah okay like the Rebuplicans weren't power hunger when President Bush was in office, they ruber stamped almost everything put forth to them from the President. Which is why we are in this mess to begin with.

    February 7, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. ozdigital

    The GOP is going to try the same thing they did to Clinton to Obama, just say everything that he tries to do is wrong. They had 8 years and look where we are.....It is time for new and radical ideas. VOTE THEM OUT next time.

    February 7, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. RK

    The same old rhetoric from the RNC what a shame! Condecending remarks. The voters today are smarter, and will be looking for cleaning house of the remainder of the Bushed years. Talk about eights years of going about destroying the American way of life. I am a retired U.S. Army Colonel and all the values we taught to soldiers about treating prisoners of war humanly will have to be retaught now. The incredible suicide rate and demoralized military establishment. Look what the years gave us as deregulation of banking industry, FDA control and inspections, toys and food items, along with the failed SEC and no one accepts responsibility for past eight years. All that was done was rubber stamped now by a Republican controlled House and Senate – suddenly the RNC is so righteous because of a new chairman. What a joke! Americans are smarter than the rhetoric coming from the RNC..same old tone.

    February 7, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Jim

    What is this guy talking about? You wouldnt be in Washington if you did not have an ego! Washington is ego-center of the free world. And he along with all the other Republicans is no different. It is always the I before the we....

    February 7, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Voterinohio

    What do you expect? Republicans were the same way. They got in power, did what they wanted and then just sat around. Democrats will do the same thing. People are blind to this, but once a party has total control, they don't care. Congress is now more about getting reelected then they are about actually doing the work. Not to mention that anyone who doesn't agree with what Obama wants is now unpatriotic and is just being petty. Who in their right mind wants to politically cross a popular president? Welcome to a different version of President Bush. Bush was abrupt and just did what he wanted. Obama will guilt people into doing what he wants....same thing, just different method.

    February 7, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. maeve

    Geesh. On the day that articles come out about Steele's campaign finances being investigated (and previous fines he's paid because of financial wrongdoings), he wonders if "power" has gone to the heads of the democrats.

    Pot kettle black, Mr. Steele.

    Your power-high has already earned you a reputation as just another greedy politician. Why should we be interested in anything you have to say?

    February 7, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. dave the dem

    Republicans just don't get it they were in power for the last 8 years which has gotten us into this mess. America told us what she wanted on Nov. 4th and it was not them.

    February 7, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. BRUTIS

    Another Republican that cant keep his big mouth shut..

    February 7, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Pierre Podo

    Dear Micheal,
    The Republicans did exactly what you are asking the Democrats? Power going unto your heads. The Bush Regime was an insult to the American ideals and principles. The change the American people are looking for are not near the failed ideas you continue to propose. So take your new post with dignity and pride, but take leave until 2012.

    February 7, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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