February 27th, 2009
05:58 AM ET
6 years ago

Steele to CPAC: The Republican party is just fine

RNC chairman Michael Steele spoke to the annual conservative conference Thursday.
RNC chairman Michael Steele spoke to the annual conservative conference Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Capping off a day of conservative soul-searching, strategizing and navel-gazing at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele announced Thursday that the Grand Old Party is “alive and well.”

Steele, addressing CPAC’s Presidential Banquet, told the audience that “the conservative movement must become a revolution,” and the goal “must be nothing less than the transformation of America.”

“Tonight, we tell America that Republican values, conservative values, are right for America,” he said, admitting that the party has made some mistakes. “Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad. But we go forward in appreciation of the values that brought us to this point.”

To much applause, Steele attacked the Obama administration’s recently-passed stimulus package, calling it “nothing short of frightening.” He said conservatives must use the political moment to re-assert their belief in a set of basic principles: limited government, freedom, opportunity and the ability of the free market to “create, innovate and prosper.”

November’s losses, he contended, should not be a discouragement.

“I am here tonight to reject the idea that defeats of the past are a repudiation of core conservative values and principles,” he said. “Nor do I believe that those defeats are a sign of things to come.”

The former Maryland Lt. Governor took a moment to honor two of his former rivals for the RNC chairmanship who were in attendance, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis.

Steele began his speech by needling Anuzis, who ran for the post on a platform of upgrading the party’s technological savvy.

“Alright Saul, stop Twittering,” he cracked.

As he concluded his remarks, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann - the event's moderator - told Steele he was “da man.”

“Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man,” she said.


Filed under: CPAC • Michael Steele
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. ruty

    Mr. Steele you need oxygen. From where I sit your party is in deep dodo. You absolutely have no one who knows any thing about anything. I am a Republican and I and ashamed and shocked at what I am hearing and seeing from the Republican party. I am jumping ship–this feels like I am on the Titanic

    February 26, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. gl, Pittsburgh

    Tonight, we tell America that Republican values, conservative values, are right for America,” he said. “ I disagree and so do most American!

    If so, why are you Republicans continue to lose sets.

    February 26, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    Just fine. Or as John McCain would put it "The fundimentals are strong". A little advice: stop being pot-holes on the road to economic recovery.

    February 26, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  4. Steph

    Bachmann, Steele, Palin, Jindahl...the Republican party is just fine...ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha and HA!

    February 26, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. Joseph

    "my Bad" "you da Man" ughh God do they really have to keep trying to do this urban appeal garbage?

    February 26, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Steph

    I can't stop laughing! This is a joke, right?

    February 26, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. Glenn

    Steele's ignorance is obviously spreading to the rest of the GOP..."you be da man"...ignorant

    February 26, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Republican values? You mean self-righteous, narrow-minded, bigotry?

    February 26, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  9. sniffit

    "We know the past, we know we did wrong"

    Then why do you want to repeat it so badly?

    February 26, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. Bachman Is A Moron

    Wow, what a terrible thing to say.

    So you have a black chairman and you use Ebonics to talk to him. Yeah, the Republicans have come a long, long way–NOT.

    February 26, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. thomas

    The Republican party showered their values upon the American people leaving the nation where it is today. You know what they say about people who do the same thing, but expect a different result. Next time, the fish won't be biting – they don't like the bait.

    February 26, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. 2young2voteOR

    are they trying to talk like young people like me?

    WOW, WEIRD!!!!
    i think instead of talking like the new generation, they should start thinking and listening to the new generation!

    so you guys are saying that the government shouldnt be helping people get back on there feet? that if we wait, they'll just stand back up? well they cant! the big businesses are holding them down!!!

    can you blame them? youve been telling them that they need to compete, well, guess what, the small bussiness down the street is competing with WALMART!!! those guys need a boost, and even if you lower taxes on them, the big guys still got an arsenal of tricks up their sleeve to make sure the small guy cant compete with them.

    the free market nowadays is a slaughterhouse. give the little guy a chance.

    stimulate the little guy, a $60 tax cut isnt gonna help him
    regulation is there for a reason!

    February 26, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Zach

    Just fine? Are you kidding me?

    February 26, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. Honorable Kansas Vet

    I am no longer certain what Republican values are, but I can say that they are not the values that I grew up with in the Republican party. They remind me of failed parties of the past that went to far right and did not have the common sense to come back to the nations values.

    February 26, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Sary

    Grand old party ye ? Old alright.
    This Steel guy is a joke.
    Why the Reps elected him? because he has black skin colour,
    why Palin,because of Hilary and
    why Jindal -because of immigrants.
    Are they following on the foot steps of Democrats?
    Do they have any thing original?
    I know -they can criticize.
    They are partying in DC-.electing a hopeful- for what?
    Doom & Gloom

    February 26, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    He's got to be kidding...when the Republicans controlled the White House for eight years, and Congress for six years, they fought AGAINST basic freedoms, dramatically ENLARGED government and made it far more intrusive, and the only ones to "prosper and innovate" were Halliburton, Black Water and the oil companies they were in bed with. Do they really think that our memories are THAT short?!

    February 26, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  17. NYFN08

    Living in a dream world, Steele. Wake up and smell reality.

    February 26, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  18. S.M.R.

    Who is he trying to kid?

    February 26, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  19. doc mitch Rev Wright

    You be da man, Michael Steele? Holy crap!! This is worse than being tossed oreo cookies in your 2002 gubernatorial debate. I would love what you have to say about this on Hannity, you spineless hack. Is this is your pathetic attempt at being hip, or are you that out of touch? Michael Steele you are the Token of the Week.

    I watch faithfully looking forward to that special day when your chickens, come home, to rooooossst.

    February 26, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  20. Jonathan Skillings

    As a loyal Republican it is unfortunate that Mr. Steele is ensnared in a campaign finance probe which will probably end in his resignation from the RNC position.

    February 26, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. Excuse me?

    "we know the past, we know we did wrong..." If so, what was it you did wrong? I don't hear any Republicans admitting anything. They are falling back on the same old rhetoric of cutting taxes and spending. There are times to spend, and times to cut. I didn't hear any complaining from them about Bush's budgets. They (they who brought us "balanced budget amendments") are perfectly all right with deficit spending as long as we are bombing some third world country. They are not Americans. They fear the Bill of Rights. For eight years, they crapped on the Constitution. I wonder how many Republicans have been practicing deficit spending in their own households lo these many years. And they talk about values? They are hypocrites.

    February 26, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. Yoni

    I'm sorry, but I don't see how the party which stands for government dictation of who is allowed to get married and what a woman can do with her own body is the party of 'limited government' and 'freedom'.

    February 26, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  23. Obama 2012

    Why did the RNC chose the Louisania Governor to give the rebuttal speech the other night? Shouldn't it had been you? Already they are showing you how they really feel about their token leader.

    Get a clue and step down...

    February 26, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Indeed just fine and not refined!

    February 26, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. Simmy

    **********************************************************************
    ...“the conservative movement must become a revolution,” and the goal “must be nothing less than the transformation of America.”...
    conservative values, are right for America,” he said. “Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad. But we go forward in appreciation of the values that brought us to this point.”
    ***********************************************************************

    Oh, my goodness....what pray tell, will you transform America into? Why suh, whateva do you mean?......... Scarlet wants to know.

    "the values that brought us to this point?"
    Are you saying that you are going forward in appreciation of the "values" of mean-spirited, opposition to everything Democratic? Are you going forward in your "values" of tainting and misrepresenting the truth in your propaganda-laden statements?

    All the tactics, strategies, lies from your candidates, that have brought you to this point, are those the "values" that you appreciate, and will go forward with from this point? "My bad?" Ha, Ha, Haaaaaaaaaaaa.

    Bravo, sir! You're doing a heck of a job!

    This article has made my evening. I will drift off to sleep with a good joke upon which to muse.

    February 26, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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