April 20th, 2009
04:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Steele: 'There's one Republican Party'

RNC chairman Michael Steele said Monday that there's one Republican Party..
RNC chairman Michael Steele said Monday that there's one Republican Party..

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele rejected the suggestion Monday that the Republican Party is fractured into different ideological or personality-driven factions.

"There's one Republican Party," the GOP head said on Fox News.

"There's not a Newt Gingrich side. There's not a Sarah [Palin] side. There's no Mitt [Romney] side."

Steele also said that the GOP had "bottomed and we hope that's the case." Citing upcoming gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, he suggested that the GOP would soon know how its efforts to regroup were being received by voters.

"But," Steele cautioned, "whether or not you've bottomed or not, you better have something to say to the American people." "I think the party has now positioned itself to talk about creating wealth versus wealth distribution."

The GOP chair also appeared to try to clean up recent statements by other prominent Republicans who have called President Obama a socialist. "We don't see this president so much as a socialist as we see him as a collectivist." "When you strip away this idea that the individual matters, for this concept of the collective – all of us pulling together and working towards some governmental goal – that's what I'm more concerned about," Steele added.

As the GOP seeks to reclaim its mantle of small government and fiscal conservatism, Steele also took a shot at the president over government spending. Monday Obama challenged members of his Cabinet to wring a total of $100 million in cuts out of their agency budgets. "We can cut a whole lot more from the federal government than $100 million," Steele said. "They're making it like it's a trillion dollars and it's not."

Weighing in on one of his party's hottest stars, Steele rejected the suggestion that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a controversial figure.

Steele likewise rejected the assumption that Palin was the automatic front-runner for the 2012 GOP nomination. "Has anyone heard Sarah Palin say what her plans are for 2012?," asked Steele. "Maybe it's not 2012. It could be later." Steele added that Palin was "an effective voice" and a "player like Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney and all the others."


Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Freed_From_W

    There's one Republican Party, all right; and it's comedy gold.

    April 20, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. dave-texas

    n.

    This is a difficult time for Republicans as we continue to transition from a sometimes near totalarian government practiced by our last administration to a functional democracy.

    April 20, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Mississippi Mike

    Mitt Romney is the front-runner and will gain strength as we watch Obama's administration destroy the economy, ruin our national defense and dig us into an unthinkably large debt over the next four years.

    April 20, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. S.positive

    You wish...

    April 20, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Sally M. Reno, NV

    Thats wrong. I am on the Palin side and would never be on your side

    April 20, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Obama 2012

    Steele, you are being ignored by your own group. Please step down and stop allowing those folks to make a fool of you.

    None of the republicans speak of you in the media...they act like you don't even exist!! They are working around you and you can't even see it!

    I hope your wife or somebody...anybody has some wisdom and will talk some sense into you.

    April 20, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Paul

    "When you strip away this idea that the individual matters, for this concept of the collective – all of us pulling together and working towards some governmental goal – that's what I'm more concerned about,"

    The American Revolution
    The Civil War
    WWII
    The "War on Terror" TM

    Yeah, those collective goals never get us anywhere.....

    April 20, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Ghost

    "I think the party has now positioned itself to talk about creating wealth versus wealth distribution."

    Scratch that. More like wealth accumulation. That is about all their policies have amounted to in recent years.

    April 20, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Ray Fisher

    Yes and hopefully the One Republican party will quietly dissolve!!!

    April 20, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. John in Ohio

    Steele says there's no split?

    Must mean there's a split.

    April 20, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Jim

    If it is true that there is one Republican party then I think the radical, religious right will be bringing the GOP down further for quite some time. As an independent I don't like this, the only thing worse than a two party system is a one party system which is what we might have soon enough.

    My personal opinion, I'd love to see the Republicans which are social liberal jump ship and make a new party with the Democrats that are fiscally conservative.

    April 20, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Some Guy

    "I think the party has now positioned itself to talk about creating wealth versus wealth distribution."

    Ah ha ha ha ha. Let me guess. More tax cuts for the wealthy? Ha ha ha ha. Off da hook. Word to your stem cells. Have a nice day!

    April 20, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Lori

    Steele, your party is fragmented. If you ever intend on winning national elections- heck, just elections outside of the South, you must get rid of the social conservatives and their ancient ideas. Americans are turning on your party faster than you can say 'Bush' so you do need to continue the soul-searching. Obama is not the 'anti-christ' out to 'destroy America' and that hateful rhetoric only works with the conservative base that hates you too. P.S. How did NY-20 work out for your party?

    April 20, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Ron

    Wonder if he realizes they (the gop) needed to find a fool to be the front man and embarrass themselves in front of the world so they choose 1 of there 3 black republicans. Amy, what ever her name is, had her hand up to. lol

    April 20, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. SIMP

    This funny looking man is running his big fat mouth again. How does he know how much federal goverment can cut? It's not like he has the insides to that budget he's not important enough. What a loser he is. He so desperately want to be recognized as the leader of this sad republician party but nobody is giving him that nod, who takes this loser serious?

    April 20, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Anthony R. Seta

    I respectfully disagree with Steele. There are many factions of the republican party. When the factions can coalesce around a unified theme, then the party functions well. That is not currently the case. There is real debate between fiscal conservatives/social moderates against social conservatives. There is also a very xenophobic nativist fringe element which forms much of the base that is at odds with the centrist-moderates of the party. And so on... Chairman, Steele must project a statement about party unity and solidarity – even if it does not exist. Therefore his message in this thread is just a talking point.

    Regarding the success of Chairman Steele so far, how does the pending loss of NY-20 to the democratic candidate affect his standing with the GOP? This was a referendum on Obama as I recall. Perhaps that bravado message by Steele has been stashed in a bottle and thrown in the ocean with the hopes that nobody finds it to bring it up again. The RNC is pulling in money, but still losing the election battles. How do republicans grade this man?

    April 20, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Carl from MI

    Yeah... the party of the wealthy, white sheets and goose-steppers.

    In no way do they represent the average American citizen. They only represent themselves and their own special interests.

    Keep chasing those watermelons...

    April 20, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama needs to get his narcissism in check. The CIA has been a sacrosanct arm of the government because of it's covert operations and in one second, they have been uncovered. This could go either way – it could inflame the terrorists to think one of their's was water boarded over 200 times! Or it could purge the CIA clean and start anew. I don't know. But if Obama has advisors, he needs to start listening to them.

    April 20, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Marsh Robert Group

    That's for sure

    April 20, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. dave

    When it comes to party they are one. When it comes to country they can leave whenever they want. Classy.

    April 20, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Cali Mike

    Nope. There's the U.S.A. and the South.

    And the Republicans run the South. How did we let them run the whole country for most of a decade?

    April 20, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Tim

    Rep Tom Davis: Republican party has become "A Private club with an admission test" wow!

    April 20, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Karen - Missouri

    Steele can talk all he wants...the GOP has proven their true obstructionist colors. Too negative. Why is CNN ALWAYS covering Republican criticism and babying THEM? instead of doing something to create a positive atmosphere to help this economy?

    Why not remind people that THIS budget includes war costs that Bush covered up by not putting it in the budget...what kind of accounting is that?

    Republicans...party of the past, ancient, out-dated, negative, obstructionist, deceitful, sore losers. this country will be better off with a decent 3rd party to replace the GOP

    April 20, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Simmy

    A fool and his words have met and are kissing......He's saying that today. Tomorrow he'll amend his remarks to include the usual suspects.

    April 20, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Dee, NJ

    You go big boy, Steele! I forget to tell you Pres Obama will win in 2012!

    April 20, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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