April 20th, 2009
04:10 PM ET
9 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. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    One party, soon to be eclipsed by a third party of indies and disaffected others who can't take any more of the same old conservatism or change from either side of the aisle.

    April 20, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Irma in North Carolina

    Steele you better quit talking about Sarah you will have Rush all over you. The republicans will never get in where if they dont stop going against every thing the president does. Not a one of the republicans out of DC could say a good thing about how the President. You should tell Newt to keep his mouth shut, he is getting as Bad as Sarah.

    April 20, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Bill

    Just like any other high-profile Republican these days, his blind eye will only aid in the inevitable downfall of the party. Save for Meghan McCain, of course.

    April 20, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Minnesotan

    I wonder what their talking point is going to be once we are in the midst of an Obama recovery and we start pulling back on the spending and working towards paying down the deficit. Maybe it will be "yeah fine, but the GOP would have had this deficit already cut in half had we not spent so much getting our economy back on track."

    The GOP is all about tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, and our bedrooms.

    April 20, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    Yes, and there is only one sea, and only one planet, and only one religion, and only one ....

    April 20, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. jake

    the Republican Party is dead.

    April 20, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Scott the Independent

    yeah but every republican has three different answer to every question depending on who is asking the question

    April 20, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Billy J in Texas

    The folks in the top ranks of the Republican party are neither small government or fiscally conservative. No matter how much they preach they usually end up showing themselves as hypocrites (witness gay bashing and then getting caught in airport restrooms, or chasing male pages). No matter what they say, they do the opposite. I am talking about the folks running the party, not the average party member. I kind of think they need to split up the party and give the different pieces new names and grass root leaders if they are ever to be taken seriously again.

    April 20, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Venia PA

    'Steele also said that the GOP had "bottomed and we hope that's the case."'

    I disagree, every day the gop goes even lower.

    April 20, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. John

    Ever notice how much time Republicans devote to the topic of wealth?

    Spin it however you want Michael Steele. Republicanism remains a politcal philosophy that embraces greed as a motivating force.

    April 20, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. arithmetic is liberal

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

    Because the Republican Party will do oh so well if we keep the blinders on and insisting everything is just fine.

    April 20, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. fred

    Hey GOP

    This is a multi-ethnic, multi-racial country, get used it, get over it, or GET OUT!

    Viva la difference! Diversity rules. We all happen to love ethnicity, that's why we rule, get it! It's also why you never will again. The Hispanic population of this country will make sure of that. So, go ahead, the head of your party, OxyMoron, can stay on the radio 24/7 talking about immigration and how horrible it is.

    Having been raised in Southern California there were 25 different nationalities on my block, it was fantastic. The Armenian's argued a lot, but that was a family thing. Learn to like the difference between yourself and others and a whole new world will open up for you. YOU WON'T BE ANOTHER SCARED WHITE PERSON, geez it's embarrassing to be white sometimes.

    April 20, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Josh- Rochester, MN

    Steele is right. There should only be one unified Republican party. A fractured one cannot survive.

    Keep in mind it is much easier to feature a unified party when you hold the Presidential office because you have someone to rally around. If Obama would have lost the election, the Democrats would have had a similar problem as the Republicans now endure. Some would have their alligiances to Obama, some to Clinton, some to Reid, to Pelosi, even Michael Moore.

    Point is, the current state of the Republican party is expected, inevitable but also temporary. They will eventually find their voice, likely by midterm elections.

    Despite this, I HATE the two party system. In fact, there should be NO PARTIES! Men and women should be voted for based on their own personal beliefs and qualifications. George Washington warned that a party based system would lead to partisanship and stagnation. Boy was he right!

    April 20, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Rich G

    What efforts? What are you doing besides moaning?

    April 20, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Vegas

    Sarah Palin running for president is a waste of time. She'd be in way over her head. She simply is not presidential. As for that 100 million dollars, and how they're making out like it's a trillion. That's a lie. 100 million is a start. These folks need to make up their minds. They are mad when President Obama spends, they're mad when he saves. I'm tired of all of them. I'm standing with President Obama. All the others, they just make noise. If they were so great, we wouldn't be in all this mess. Apparently they had no answers then and they still have none. All they do is bash the President of the USA. Very UnAmerican!

    April 20, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Tulsa

    Mr. Steele, I reject you and your ideas just as the MAJORITY rejected the rest of your quite fractured party in November.
    Did you get that? You are a MINORITY in the MINORITY party. You LOST and YOU are being USED by the same group that would keep you down. You are, in fact, a TOKEN.

    That must be very frustrating, knowing that the OTHER party actually ELECTED a black man PRESIDENT.

    Keep on trying to spin the Godless Old Panderers as something worth listening to.... The rest of us, (not the 28%ers) know you are telling lies.

    April 20, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. james

    Steele will retract most of what he said after his boss rush limbaugh scolds him.

    April 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. gorefan

    "all of us pulling together and working towards some governmental goal" That sounds like the Republicans stand is that it's "everyone man for themselves" We got into this mess collectively, shouldn't we try to get out of it collectively. And if the 'governemntal goal" is creating jobs and fixing the financial system, should we all be working towrds that goal. It seems that the only thing the Republicans can come up with are catchy phrases like:
    "creating wealth versus wealth distribution."
    "We don't see this president so much as a socialist as we see him as a collectivist."
    "It spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much"
    "are there no prisons? Are there no work houses?"

    April 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. pam Eugene OR

    I find it incredible that there are Republicans saying that gay marriage should be legal. That will cause a giant split in their party. The Republicans do not know how to stay out of our bedrooms. The far right bible pounders will never go for it and it is their only hope to attract new and younger voters. It will cost them Christian base.
    This will be fun to watch. I can't wait for the fur to fly. Can you imagine Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Riley saying yes to same sex marriage. It make me laugh just thinking about it!

    April 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Minnesotan

    "There's one Republican Party..." and it's a complete joke, filled with hate, lies, corruption, out-of-touch people who avoid reality and facts.

    April 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    The GOP can spin its policies anyway you want? This IS supposed to be the Republican Party, the party that was committed for this Nation as a Republic under the laws of the U.S. Constitution.
    I see none of that coming from the GOP in the last three decades. They have expanded Government as much as the Democrats, so where does that leave the American Citizen when both parties continue to expand government into our private lives, this is why the Libertarian party is growing, it is time for the return this nation to being a "It's free country isn’t it?"

    April 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Mel of Alexandria

    It might be one party, but its policies are so scattered and disingenuous that we can see plainly that the GOP cares more for power than for the good of the Nation.

    April 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. skeeve

    Yes, indeed there is one.. and this is very sad

    April 20, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Bob Pacific Grove, Ca

    There is just 1 republican party.........And they are just sooooooo screwed up......

    April 20, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. Sharon Kitchen

    positioned itself to say what?????????

    Steele..........did you get roves approval yet?

    or cheney"s?


    April 20, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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