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. Dan

    Excuse me? Democrats let power go to their heads? I don't know what planet this guy has been living on for the past 20 or so years, but it seems that we've had enough Republican ego power trips to last a lifetime.

    February 7, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Big dee of MD

    Republican ideas have not been included?... Hellooo! We have had eight years of Republican ideas and look at where we are now.

    I guess they still want to cut taxes AGAIN which amounts to a few hundred dollars for us regular folks (so we can pay a bill or two) and thousands to hundreds of thousands to people who's yearly income is more than 90% of Americans. Wake Up People!

    February 7, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. rea


    February 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. jonny

    Saving people a few hundred bucks a year will not do much for the economy. Especially when so many people are unemployed and arent even paying taxes.

    Spending the stimulus package on projects that will create lots of jobs will DRASTICALLY improve the lives of anyone who goes from being unemployed to having a job. Those people will then be paying taxes, which will bring needed income back to the government. If Obama really can create 2 million jobs, then that will do WAY MORE than giving everyone who already has a job a little rebate.

    February 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Robert

    Hm. This is the first time I've seen a Rethug weekly address reproduced in full here on your ticker. Could it be that you want to help give this drivel as much exposure as you can? Did you reproduce all the radio addresses slamming Rethugs for their power-drunk eight-year spree of corruption, warmongering, and incompetence? Oh, wait, you didn't, since Democrats never did that.

    Y'all in the liberal media just keep making sure the Rethugs are heard, and heard, and heard, just as you did for Dubya. Good little puppies.

    This comment will await moderation.

    February 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Sleepless in Colorado

    Mr. Steele,

    I understand that you are not the leader of the RNC. That is fantasic! However, nobody cares. A majority of Americans voted over the past three years to get your sorry butts out of office. We do appreciate the lovely mess that your party has created. Now we have a job to watch every move that politicians make from now on. If the Democrats do poorly then we will vote their butts out. This stimulus bill is filled with a lot of pork and I hate it. I will voice my opinion to Congress and the Senate and so will millions of others.
    In conclusion, we don't care about your sorry Republican ideas. As my daddy says, "Build a bridge and get over it!" Your party lost but if you do better next time then you'll have another try at screwing this country over.

    Yours truly,
    Independent in Colorado 🙂

    February 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. David - New York

    This guy is a complete idiot....he should fit in perfectly as the RNC Chair. Well done GOP.

    No "power" went to the heads of the Republican party over the past 8 years.....

    The democrats are simply pushing through their legislative ideas...and they won the elections in November....so this is the legislation supported by the majority of the American people. Democracy and the constitution seem to cause the GOP problems all the time....

    give me a break steele...you're a token selection. everyone sees that except you.

    February 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. andrea-baltimore

    Keep the money you earn but if you have no job how does that work
    Reasonable Americans understand we are hurting, 3-4 generations of families livivng on the check of the one or two people who still have a job....... Republican again playing politics when we are starving

    February 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |




    February 7, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. pdxman

    Mmmm...the party that ran rough shod over the constitution, instituted torture and extraordinary rendition, started a war on questionable pretenses, launched warrantless wiretaps, shut the opposition party out of all meaningful congressional committee debates and dismantled much of the financial and environmental protection framework that had been carefully constructed in the past 75 years, all because they had a lock on two branches of government. That's the one thinking the democrats have let power go to their head? Well, to their credit, I guess they do know quite a bit about the matter...

    February 7, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. yana

    Mr Steel, we all know why you were picked as the new RNC chairman, the same reason Palin was picked to be the loud hateful mouth of VP candidate for GOP. Republicans think that if they can force a minority or a woman to spew lies, hatred and disrespect, it makes it somehow more ligit. But guess what? IT DOESN'T!!! Are you deaf? Blind? Or both??? Can you not comprehend that the tax cuts have not been working and are not the solution for this mess!!! The only sentence the GOP knows is tax cut! Seriously? What taxes is there to cut if people are JOBLESS, you idiot!!! So once again you speak of benefits for the rich! What a waste your nomination is, what a waste!!!

    February 7, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Juanita

    I have a strong feeling that the views coming from Congress have little or nothing to do with wisdom, strategy and long term focus. There's a lot of frenzy and chaos in the House. More often than not it seems as if the knee jerk response is taking precedence over a formulaic utilitarian strategy. I see very little empirical data being utilized in the decision making process but lots of rapid fire push throughs. I really don't have much confidence in their long term planning practices. Too many talking heads trying to one up each other and very little business planning, control measure implementations, cost benefit analysis, return on investment validations, or definable recovery measures. America's printing press will be both a virtue and vice going forward. Hopefully there will surface a greater majority of wisdom seekers who will choose to understand the virtues of that press. Unfortunately, as it stands now, we're leanding towards the press's vices. Too bad, so sad.

    February 7, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Mike W

    When is this going to stop? Don't you realize we voted your party out of office. We tried your economic formula for 8 years. It doesn't work. I gues we are going to have to vote every single republican out of office before you finish off driving this country into the ground with your incompetence. Just how much would you suggest we give the rich this time around? Mr. Trickle me down Elmo....

    February 7, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Jon

    The Democrats have had power for less than a month after eight years of a Republican presidency (2000-2008), during six years of which the Republicans controlled the Congress (2000-2006).

    During the Republican reign of error, the Republican-led Congress and the Republican president led us to to the edge of another Great Depression as bankers and stock brokers stole hundreds of billions of dollars through their Ponzi schemes and taxpayer ripoff schemes on Wall Street and in the home mortgage market.

    And now Michael Steele, the RNC chair for all of a week, says the real problem is because "power has gone to Democrats' heads." Paris Hilton knows more about governing a country and managing an economy than Michael Steele and Sarah Palin combined will ever know. Seriously...she does.

    February 7, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. John, Encino, California

    I don't like Steele. He's the GOP's token and he doesn't even realize it. However, I think he may be right about this. I think Reid and Pelosi are creating problems with their partisan stridency and Obama needs to take both of them to the wood shed.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Carol St Jean

    Thank you for those words, Mr. Steele. You have hit the nail on the head. The Democrats seem to forget (conviently?) that this is the UNITED States of America. They will promise anything they have to in order to get elected and discard all promises once in office. They have little to loose and at the end of the day they will walk away with money in their pockets while Amerian citizens become more and more discouraged. I did not vote for Mr. Obama but I was hopeful that his bipartisan rhetoric would not fall on deaf ears. I guess I was wrong. It seems to me that our only hope for REAL change and a healthy economy will have to wait for 2012 and a Republican victory. Have you ever thought of running for President, Mr Steele?

    Thanks for listening.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. anthony

    Really? The Democrats struggled so much for a few Republican votes on the stimulus bill, even though they have the largest congressional majorities in years, and the Republicans think the power is going to their heads? Perhaps Republicans' power to filibuster in the Senate, which they have due to the fact that the Democrats are short of a filibuster-proof majority by one vote (or two in the unlikely event that the court overturns Franken's lead in the Minnesota Senate election) is going to the Republicans' heads? Perhaps Mr. Steele's election to the position of the chairman of RNC is going to his head?

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Mike in Vancouver

    My prediction ... he's not going to help the GOP out of their current mess. Same old talk, same old blabber.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Dan in CHI

    First of all, that's not entirely true. Second of all, the Republicans got whatever they wanted through Congress for 6 of the last 8 years under the guise of "what's good for America" and look where THAT went.

    Stand aside, your ideas are no good here.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. BillGee

    I believe that the Dem's desperately need to listen to the GOP. Once they have, do the exact opposite of what they say. They're the reason we're in this mess. They created it and now it's time for them to STFU and let the adults fix it.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. alvino

    Steele is a good fit for the clueless RNC and their obstructionists in congress.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. CONNIE

    you go get them Michael, show them how it should be done. America needs to wake up and quit counting on the government to support them. The government is for policy making not hand outs and everyone is waiting on a hand out from Obama. America needs to get on the phone and call their congressman or woman and tell them not to vote for this package it is nothing but spending to pay the lobbyist back for helping obama get elected and that is not CHANGE. I kept on asking through the election change what do you mean by change and no one has answer me yet. Someone please answer me what is the change that you want from our trustworthy government.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Kyle

    All those "good ideas" is what helped get us to where we are today.

    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. david goldman



    February 7, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Roger

    If the democrats are quilty of the election going to their heads it is because when the republicans were in control the dems were beat down so badly they want to get revenge. Obama tried to be bipartisan and look what it got him....no votes from the house & possibly 2-3 from the senate on the stimulus package....hey Mr. Steele open your eyes we dems & you republicans have a big difference on how we feel this nation should be governed and this go around we the people have spoken we don't want to be bullied as we have been over the past 8 years, so it takes shoving a bill down your throat live with it...

    February 7, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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