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. Tish

    Wow, it's just amazing to hear Steele talk about Dems egos. Where was he when Bush declared "Mission Accomplished?" Where was he when Bush said "Bring it on?" Where was he when Bush said "You're either with us or agianst us?" Where was he when the Dems took over the Senate and House in 2006 because the public was tired of his war of choice, and Bush wouldn't even listen?
    Where was he when the Justice Dept was turned into a political locker room for Republican philosphy only? Where was he? How dare he use the word ego. Shame on you, Steele. Shame on any black man who thinks the Republican party really has his or his country's best interests in mind. You have been duped.

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

    Ticker: RNC Chairman blusters, makes news

    February 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Ann

    I questioned this guy's intelligence. Republicians do not want to help people on main street. We get the same old, tired ideas from Republicians... tax cuts for the wealthy and corporation plus trickle-down economics. This doesn't work. Republicians do not want to work together then just want to obstruct. For Republicians, it is politics first and country last. The Republicians rather destroy the United States then try something new and work with the Democracts. That has been so obvious over the last two weeks.

    February 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Rob Stumpf

    Are Democrats like Reid and Pelosi full of themselves? Duh. Why shouldn't they be? They made Obama swallow THEIR package, and made him smile while doing it.

    Pelosi especially ran him over like crushing a banana with a steamroller. Obama's inexperience makes him weak.

    This is what you all wanted. A bumper sticker president, and trillions of dollars in wasteful government spending. You asked for it. Down the road– the higher taxes necessary to pay for it all.

    February 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Victor from Denver

    Once again goes to prove that he is the RNC chairman only because of the color of his skin.

    What do these idiots think will stimulate the economy other than government spending ? They want to reduce taxes for people who don't have jobs to pay taxes. They want to reduce payroll tax for people who have not been on payroll for sometime. They want to give tax credits to people who can no longer afford their mortgages. But will gladly give hundreds of billions to their banking friends – idiots who got us into this mess in the first place and who continue to jet around in private planes.

    Its time we started public hangings of these scoundrels who are so out of touch with reality.

    February 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. a southern bell




    February 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Sanity has returned

    I've read what was cut from the Senate stimulus package..I'm kind of wondering what's left other than tax cuts. Mr Steele had better tend to his campaign fund federal investigation rather than question the ego's of others.

    February 7, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Douglas

    For your information, you can’t keep more of your earned money (tax savings) unless you’re earning money (have a job). Daa! Can’t pay or save on taxes unless you are working.

    It’s amazing, as long as the government is spending money on what they want to spend money on (unnecessary war, corporate welfare), the question, “who’s going to pay for it” never comes up. As soon as someone (government ) wants to do something for the average American, you scream, “who’s going to pay for it”. Sound like a double standard to me.

    It’s becoming more and more apparent that your organization (RNC) cares very little about the average American.

    Get Real

    February 7, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Howard

    If the Republicans believe they can be a party of "no" and basically obstruct actions for the many millions out of a job, they have another thing coming. If this stimulus does nothing, at least the Democrats and those Republicans who reached a compromise did something. The Republicans are continuing down a path of irrelevancy.

    February 7, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Harriet

    What am I missing? The Republicans acted like dictators when they held all three branches of government. The fiddled while people like me lost large amounts of retirement savings in stock market crashes. They bully their colleagues when they finally get a taste of their own medicine. How do you spell Republican? H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E.

    Count me as a conservative independent who is not impressed with Mr. Steele or his chronies. A few more comments like this and I'm switching to Democrat permanently.

    Get some new ideas and a new attitude Mr. Steele, or get out of the way of someone who can articulate a positive message that reflects the current century.

    February 7, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. Carl from MI

    That's rich... coming from a group of yes-men who failed to question or criticize one single thing about Dubya during his Administration of Destruction!!

    Dubya had an EGO of epic proportions... and not ONE Republican EVER spoke up about it or brought it into question. All of a sudden, now they are authorities on the subject? They couldn't recognize a giant ego if it bit them on the foot.

    Once again... Republicans prove they are authorities on only ONE subject – HYPOCRISY!!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Margaret

    Oh Mr. Steele.... looking at the list of things that have recently been cut from this bill, perhaps Republican's think a little too highly of themselves. I agree, there was some fat in the original bill, but a good portion of what was cut were job creating items that had a double-benefit - for instance - school construction not only creates jobs, it leaves our children with good facilities to replace crumbling ones. The republicans seem to think tax cuts will fix everything.... but the 10 bucks extra that would put in someone's pocket won't be spent, it will be saved - because that person is still in fear for their job - if they still have one. Job creating spending is whats needed here.

    February 7, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. dr.mimi de la cruz



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

    oh shut up!!!!! Token!!

    February 7, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Rick

    For years the republicans gave George Bush a blank check, the very reason this country is in the mess it's in. Tax cuts is the only word they know. They have had tax breaks for the rich for years but has it helped NO . You can't spend billions of dollars without raising taxes, they have no problem with giving money to Iraq but hell to the people in the United States

    February 7, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Ohio for Obama- Suburbs

    You should have been asking that question to the Bush Administration, and the Republican which you are apart of 8 yrs ago. You know why you were really selected " too attack President obama.

    Your quote "Republicans stand ready to work with reasonable Democrats to do what is right for America Get out of here talking that non-sense. Are you Republicans looking at the Unemployment rates??????????

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. katiec

    Give me a break. The republicans had control andbeen in power for eight years and look what they did to our country and the world.
    Their outdated, unworkable beliefs and party first, regardless of what it does to our country, are criminal. What hypocrits!
    Who listens to anything they have to say. They almost destroyed our
    country and the world and all of a sudden they are "experts" on the economy.

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Wm Scot

    This is what we as a nation are sick and tired of. The grandstanding for political gain. While gutting the pork is very important and should be done, it does not help with the stalling for potitical gain and the name calling of the RNC " new dude" is doing.
    The head of the congress also needs to temper her attacks. She is unfortuantly not the best person to be running the congress at this time and the Democratic leadership needs to be looking at a change in the near future !

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Fed Up W/Republicans

    Mr Steele,

    The last eight years of the BUSH Republican administration has left this country in shambles, with little credibility around the world. We reject your failed ideas of tax cuts that only benefit Big Business.

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Mike Dallas

    President Obama listened to the repubs in the House and made some changes such as removing the birth control provisions, yet NOT one repub voted for the bill and refused the President's hand when extended and acted upon. The President's actions were bi-partisan however, the repubs was partisan.

    "Bi-partisanship is over-rated" is a quote YOU stated Mr Steele the day you were elected as the token head of the RNC.

    So, DO NOT blame President Obama and the Democrats now when they simply AGREE with YOU!

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Kathy in Minnesota

    The audacity of RNC Chairman Michael Steel to say that Democrats have EGOES!!! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!! That having majorities in the Senate and House have gone to their heads???

    What have we had for the last 8 YEARS Mr. Steele with the Bush Administratiuon?? EGOES up the wazoo!!! Power by the GOP that went unchecked!!!

    Yes indeed, power corrupts!! The Bush Administration will go down as one of the most power-hungry and corrupt Administrations in history..

    Take a good look at your REPUBLICAN PARTY Mr. Steele!! Tell Americans that not one REPUBLICAN in office has an EGO and isn't POWER HUNGRY!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Mr. T

    Like being charge of a KKK meeting...Do he really think Rep has his best interest...If President Obama had not won the election he would be back in Maryland pretenting to be a Dem ( oh yea we have not forgotten).

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. Wayne in CA

    repugs have never known or cared about what's right for America..and the "comprehensive...plan" of them has put this country in the toilet..and their obstructionist agenda is pulling the lever..

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. JS

    You had your chance to do what was right for Americans for 8 years. Where were all of your " Good ideas.....lots of them" for the last 8 years..... tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts.......If you don't have a job...you have no taxes to cut. Economy 101....Thank for nothing.

    February 7, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. mike

    Typical Democrats. Already thinking about re-election. Pork barreling the bill to show their district that they did something for them. How about for once, Congress does something that benefits the greater good of society. Sure, some may fall through the cracks, but as a overseer to this country and people, you have to make tough decisions. A strong country and society will help the less fortunate. A weak country and society can help no one.

    February 7, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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