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.
@Shayne in NH February 27th, 2009 12:23 am ET
I'm a democrate.
Christine February 27th, 2009 12:25 am ET
The budget that Obama has proposed is bigger than Bush's spending which included the cost of two wars and 911.
The only thing liberals know how to do is attack and insult people. Why don't you shut your mouths and go read something other than the Huffington Post.
Chrisitine you should educate yourself before throwing nonsense out. Bush's budget did NOT include the two wars (one I fought in) which made it look smaller. Obama's DOES. that is the difference between honesty and gimmicks.
What we need to "transform" is this two party monopoly. With the dems and republicans squabbling all the time and fighting for majority voting power, our country is suffering. We need Individuals who stand more in the middle to step forward and take this country in a new direction. Down the middle. Its time for things to level out and lets get some balance in our government. We hear all this talk about "bipartisanship" but its just BS. I know there are Dems going to republican and republicans going to the dem party. For those of us who are fed up, lets just meet in the middle and force this country into a new direction. Don't be scared to declare yourself "independent". Time for some level headed people to take the reins of the middle and promote equal solidarity. The two party monopoly has ruined this country and I know theres millions of us in the middle who have had to take sides against our own better judgement because thats all we thought we had. Its time for a "CHANGE" that will actually help save our country!
The fact that the republicans don't have a clue just goes to show you that the party is run by the wealthy... they are completely out of touch with the majority of the people in this country. They are so far removed that they don't understand what is happening and haven't the faintest idea of how to deal with the current situation.
During the "Cheney Presidency" they ran the country on a "need-to-know" basis and decided that the majority of Americans just simply didn't need to know. These are poeple at the top who are use to having their orders followed and no questions asked. They feel they should NEVER have to explain themselves... just do as I say.
Hopefully, that sad time in our history has come to an end.
Alive? No, they are dead sick and juspt plain mean. The Republicans caused this mess but they dont want to help fix it. They should be working with President Obama and not fighting him so the economy can be returned to thriving economoy. Steel and the rest of the Republicans are self centered and out of touch with the american people.
MESSAGE TO GOP = "Come on guys, get it together!"
Oh, this is so sad! Ed, your new president won by over 8 and a half MILLION VOTES! That my friend is a landslide. If the Republicans continue to try new threads, it equates to a salesman who doesn't know what he is selling. It's called "spraying and praying", trying anything out on the customer and seeing what might stick. There is no relationship and there is no sale! The public is on to the new GOP. It's the same as the old GOP, just trying to package it differently. Nobody is falling for it!
As for John McCain, he can be president. . . president of the small man's syndrome club. 2010 and John can be retired officially. Just don't vote for him and let him fade away to his HERO glory. That's where he's living at the moment anyway.
This CPAC gathering is very scary and very un-American.....and Steele's comments of "just fine" show they are also very out of touch with reality. That sand where your head is must feel good, Mr. Steele :)
Many Republicans want the Party to drive harder to the Right, and others are screaming for more diversity, and still many others like Michael Steele believes every thing is just find and dandy. Why can't the GOP see that for most Americans it is NOT about their Republican "values"? It is about substantive solutions to real issues for paycheck-to-paycheck struggling Americans.
I live in canada, these your republican party officials are nothing but weed smokers and the beteter they stop the better they are welcome to the world soceity. What a bunch of idiots and senseless group of people these republicans are, very soon Bush and co will be on trial for war crime, they are not different from MIlosovic and Charles taylor. these guys belong to The Hague
Hey Mike what's next for the GOP, Pimp Juice. Hey Michelle Bachmann how about some shout out T.I and T-Pain!
Again, as former Chief Judge Higginbotham asked soon-to-be Justice Thomas in an open letter in 1992: "I must confess that, other than their own self-advancement, I am at a loss to understand what is it that the so-called black conservatives are so anxious to conserve."
As Steele concluded his remarks, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann — the event's moderator — told Steele he was “da man.”
I love her!!! I really really love her!!! She is my new toy ... with her all big crazy blue eyes that will believe ANYTHING that the computer will print!
Move over Palin ..... Bachmann for President!!!
jajaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I bet you she bought ' Hip Hop for dummies.
OH! and Steel .... he said on a radio interview that he send Jindal ' some slum love ' jajaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Yes, and the fundamentals of the economy are sound, mission accomplished, waterboarding is not torture and I can see Russia from my house.
@Get Real!! February 26th, 2009 11:25 pm ET
To the hateful, vile democrats, you talk like your party is the next best thing since sliced bread! Do you forget you have the devil spawn in your party??*** Satan is the leader of the Repubs as in Rush Limbaugh ***OOPS MY Bad!!! Don't Hate PARTICIPATE ...The DEMS are better than Grandma's APPLE PIE .....Join Us "you da Man"
Gee where is this new hip Republican Party at ????? With Steele,Jindal and other minorities that suffer from "Racial Stockholm
Syndrome" in the party. I feel real confident in the Republicans!!!!
Go back and look at your history. For the past 30 years whenever the retaliban party was in power, they were not fiscally responsible, the government grew and every single one was for the rich and the corporations. Just because you keep saying something does not make it true.
I like safe food, good roads and bridges, and I think if you have over 75% percent of the wealth you can afford to pay more than 40% of the taxes. I know it is nice for you if those of us who share the 25% pay 60% of the taxes, but we find it kind of hard to survive on a day to day basis.
No one over 40 should run for office in the GOP.
@Get Real!! February 26th, 2009 11:25 pm ET
To the hateful, vile democrats, you talk like your party is the next best thing since sliced bread! Do you forget you have the devil spawn in your party??*** Satan is the leader of the Repubs as in Rush Limbaugh ***OOPS MY Bad!!! Don't Hate PARTICIPATE ...The DEMS are better than Grandma's APPLE PIE .....Join Us "You be da man"
Tom, Your an idiot...
It shocks me that there are people in America who are not behind our president to pull ourselves out of this terrible economic situation.
I feel like my house burned down and my neighbors are telling me it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't built it.
Hahaha, these Rethuglicans just won't quit!
Steele is the white man's buffoon.
Everything is just fine and the fundimentals of the economy are strong. Right ;-)) These people are dilusional. They won't admit they lost the election. They won't take any responsibility for anything in the last 8 years. It's all Osama's fault or purhaps it was the aliens from Mars or maybe the voters got it wrong. Take your meds and sleep it off for the next 20 years. Republicans of the far right are irrelevant and disconnected from the average American.
The squabbling cound indeed stop if Democratic voters would learn science and economics. They are like Mikey. They will believe anything. We are in trouble because perception is not reality. That is a lie.