June 9th, 2009
01:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele urges GOP to stress fiscal discipline

epublican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans.
epublican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans, while highlighting the party's ideology of fiscal discipline.

Steele made the request Tuesday to all 168 RNC members as well as the GOP congressional leadership in a memo obtained by CNN.

On the economy, Steele takes aim at Obama's decision to use federal dollars as a lifeline to help save the automotive and financial industries.

"Republicans should continue to demand answers from the Administration about when they plan on returning companies to the private sector and getting them off of the public dole," Steele writes in the memo.


The RNC chairman also chastises Obama and Democrats on their plan to overhaul the nation's health care system. He tells his fellow Republicans to "[a]dvocate for health care reform while opposing efforts by President Obama and Congressional Democrats to force Americans into a government-run health care system."

Steele advises the party to "continue to stand for fiscal responsibility."

This is one of the first times that Steele has looked to use his position as RNC chair to influence the policy direction of the party.

"Chairman Steele was serious when he said that Republicans will be unified in taking on President Obama and the Democrats for their big-government, overreaching policies that are moving our country in the wrong direction," a Steele advisor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells CNN.


Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • President Obama
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Bo

    Bush pushed the US deficits and debt to all-time high, and now they talk about fiscal discipline. Hypocrites and nutcases one and all!

    June 9, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Big Red

    And once again, we are being asked to blindly follow our "leader". We are turning into sheep. If the lead sheep jumps off of a cliff are we to follow without question? If we question the wisdom of our great leader, we are called "stupid republicans"? OMG. Typical response from a liberal democrat. How 'bout some fiscal responsibility? How 'bout spending money we have now and not spending money our children and childrens' children won't have in the future! What happened to common sense?

    June 9, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Chuck, Tennessee

    I am a conservative and have aligned myself with the Republicans in the past. An ideology of fiscal discipline is great if you actually follow it. They don't. All politicians seems to think they can just spend all they want with no negative consequences. That is the biggest problem with our economy.

    June 9, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Libertarian

    And if the Obama administration would have turned their backs on GM guess who would have showed up as the "Knight in Shining Armor". Why the good old GOP, of course. They would have railed against the Administration for not looking out for the working class. They would have called Obama "anti-union". And lastly, they would call him anti-American for not looking out for the industry that built the American economy and the work-class. All hail the GOP.

    June 9, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. confused

    Reagan – left America in huge debt.
    Bush 1 – left America in huge debt.
    Bush 2 – left America in huge debt.

    Name one Republican President that was fiscally responsible in my life time. None.

    Do you want to know who is going to pay for the "free" healthcare? The same people that are paying for free healthcare for the Iraq & Afhgan citizens. YOU DUMMY!

    June 9, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Lori loves to remind the GOP that they are STILL only 21% of the American population!

    Yes, Steele. Just as the Republicans complained for the last 8 years when Bush was creating unprecedented deficits. Oh, that's right. The Republicans kept silent. In fact if I remember clearly, if anyone opposed Bush they were either deemed 'unpatriotic' or were threatened with the death (ie, Dixie Chicks). Yeah, I love the good ole days that Jon Voight was talking about. I missed those days when it was 'patriotic' to threaten Natalie Maines and others with death and to have precious little children stomping on CDs spewing words of hate OR when my friends and I were looked at with contempt when we traveled to Europe and told people we were American OR when my fellow citizens were called 'unpatriotic' if they dared disagreed with Bush's policies which costs the American tax payers billions/trillions. Yes, Mr. Steele. As Archie Bunker said, "Those were the days..."

    June 9, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. lvas

    the replicants created this current fiscal mess we're in. thank god that Obama is cleaning up the mess he was left. as for a govt run healthcare system – give me a break. the current healthcare system is broken – 100 million americans don't have healthcare.

    June 9, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. dean

    There are two words that best describe the problems in this country..

    greed
    indifference

    Both parties and major companies are guilty of these two problems. When things were going good, companies and politicians alike, even everyday citizens, wanted more and more and did not care what the price was. Now the bill has arrived and everyone is looking to pass the blame onto someone else.

    The truth is everyone is to blame at some level. Everyone needs to be more responsible now, and live within their means. That goes from the single parent all the way up to big business and government itself.
    That is the only way to get ourselves out of this mess quicker....not Steele telling one certain group to be more "fically disciplined".

    June 9, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. alycia causey

    Now why in the world would a socialist want to "return" the things they've taken over to the "private sector??"

    June 9, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Kevin B

    Mr Steele is grabbing at straws, the republicans have forefited thier right to govern for at least a decade. There has to be a complete turn over of the GOP from the right wing reactionaries and nutjobs to real solution oriented candidates before the majority will ever vote for the GOP again in a national election.

    June 9, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. MsDp

    The Republician Idealogy: There was a time, even in America, when doctors became doctors because of their passion for human wellness and human care instead of their passion for big dollars for profits. I believe there are many, many other professions that would allow an open market system/industry to be relevant, i.e., financial industries, technology industries, and many more; however, healthcare should not exist in our country merely to create profits. Doctors should not be a part of our healthcare industry merely for profits. There should be a passion or love so intense for the human life that this passion, and it alone should propels anyone who enters into a health care profession. If we can convince our GOP brothers and sister to no longer view our healthcare industry as part of the open. Market industry, if we can convince our GOP brothers and sisters to have a new prospective on healthcare and not health-profits, maybe we will discover how to recruit persons who have that passion for human life again; maybe be we will discover how to recruit a nation who have that passion for human life too.

    You Too STEELE....

    June 9, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Fed up with the finger pointing

    Let me start out by saying that most of you only have an opinion because this news outlet gave you one. When will people start thinking for themselves? It's easy for everyone to blame everyone else, to insult and name call, but that's what the politicians do, to the detriment of this Great Country. As long as we continue to infight, we will fall. Our enemies have said that they will destroy this country from the inside and that's what they are being allowed to do. I do not agree with everything the current President is doing, nor did I agree with everything the last President did, but the job of the President is not an easy one. Whoever the president is, he or she deserves our respect and support. There is an avenue in this country to fix our government, it's called elections. The problem is most people in this country vote for a party not the best person for the job. They vote for change for change sake. That has never solved any problems. We the People need to stop allowing the news networks to tell us what to do and who to vote for and use our brains for once. We also need to realize that Congress, not the current or past President, has gotten us into this mess. They are all self-serving hypocrates. So stop blaming the Democrates, the Republicans and the President for your woes. Blame yourselves for not holding Barney Frank, Pelosi, Reed and all the rest of Congress responsible. Until you do that, stop whinning. In the meantime, lets put on a united front and stop giving our real enemies the ammo the need to topple this country by fighting each other and stand together to show the World we always have been and always will be the greatest country on Earth!

    June 9, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Howie

    LOL Fiscal Discipline? Like no bid contracts, and free money to insurance companies?

    Puleeze. Nobody was beating that drum during the last 8 years when Bush was giving money to all his cronies.

    June 9, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. Pragmatic

    "while highlighting the party's ideology of fiscal discipline..." which we all in the previous administration ... didn't we? Talk about a Bridge to No Where!

    As for the whine "Republicans will be unified in taking on President Obama and the Democrats for their big-government, overreaching policies that are moving our country in the wrong direction." – they wrote that speech in November 08! Before President Obama was even if office! They just chant the same one note again and again.

    June 9, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Fla.

    Give me a break. Ideology of hypocrisy is more like it.

    There was NO fiscal discipline from Republicans these past several years. Sadly, the GOP is getting more delusional by the day.

    June 9, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Bill, Bloominton IL

    Yep and once again democrats have no problem spending my money on something I dont want. Today no one will be forced into Universal health Care. Some day democrats will be responsible for having no choice.

    June 9, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Where was their fiscal responsibility during the last 8 years when bush was bankrupting this country with his illegal war and the republicans gave him a blank check????

    June 9, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. John

    California is an example of people expecting more govt services and programs without raising their taxes. They will not pay but expect more and you can't have both.

    June 9, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Perusing-Through

    STEELE: ""Republicans should continue to demand answers from the Administration about when they plan on returning companies to the private sector and getting them off of the public dole?"

    ANSWER: When Haliburton give up their "Cheney no-bid contracts" and compete for government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    June 9, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    oh you mean the way Bush did? How many trillions of dollars did he spend on his illegal wars?

    SHUT UP

    June 9, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Kevin B

    The GOP in it's present form is viewed by most voters as a dangerous wounded party that will do and say just about anything to harm americans to re-gain power .

    The similarites between Al Queda and the modern GOP are uncanny

    Both want america and the president to fail.
    Both are guided by twisted ideology.
    Both use cowardly fear tactics to push thier agenda.
    Both adhere to religious dogma and use pious speech to intimdate there followers.

    June 9, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Enlightened Voter

    The GOP is the reason we are in this financial nightmare and recession, now all of sudden they are fiscally responsible? Give me a break, we are not that stupid.

    June 9, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. ...okay the GOP is right

    Things were so much better under Bushco!! We should see if we can go back to those Fiscally responsible days sooooo long ago. We could give more tax cuts to the Rich, start another LIE based war, and l best of all let our future enemy China hold all our debt.

    These guys are full of NEW ideas...let's givem another shot. I mean how could we as a nation go any lower.....hold on.

    June 9, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Steve

    Why does Michael Steele think the South where most of the Republican votes in the last election came from is going to follow him.
    Without the South the Republican Party or Dixiecrats (White people for the past 30 years in the South have voted Republican in Federal elections and Democratic in States elections) is dead.
    The only salvation is the formation of a new national party to challenge the Democrats.

    June 9, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Patrick - Indianapolis

    Yeah Say one thing... If only you republicans practiced what you preach. Maybe then I would have never left. Caught with your hands in the cookie jar and here you are again crying wolf. Fool me once..

    June 9, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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