October 29th, 2009
03:33 PM ET
4 years ago

Steele: Virginia a 'blueprint' for GOP success

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele isn't predicting victory yet in the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele isn't predicting victory yet in the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races.

Washington (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele isn't predicting victory yet in the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races, but in Virginia - a race Republicans look poised to win - he sees a "blueprint" for GOP success in 2010.

"You dont win until the last vote is counted," Steele told CNN by phone during a campaign swing in southern Virginia with Republican candidate Bob McDonnell. "We failed in the past by assuming too much. The only thing I am assuming is there is much more to do."

Steele said that while Virginia and New Jersey are very different states requiring different "messaging styles," the gubernatorial races have provided the RNC with a way to "test the waters" before next year's midterm elections. He said the party has been trying out new strategies in both races "in terms of resources we put on the ground, in providing ground support or air support, on the Internet, on television, phones, things like that."

As McDonnell has surged to a lead in Virginia polls over his Democratic rival Creigh Deeds, national Republicans have described his campaign - in which he focused on job creation and downplayed his conservative positions on social issues - as a blueprint for future GOP victories. Asked what specifically in McDonnell's approach represents a way forward for the party, Steele praised the Republican for focusing on issues relevant to middle-class voters while staying true to conservative economic principles.


"If you have just lost your home, are you going to pin someone down on where they are on social issues not relevant to you getting your home back?," Steele asked. "Candidates have to understand what people are valuing at the moment. They don't need to go around and beat their chests about social issues. The liberal media would like us to do that, the Washington Post would like us to do that, but the people don't. The blueprint is one of talking about who you are and what you believe and making it relevant to people."

"All the rest of the issues take care of themselves in time," he said. "Right now America is focused on the economy."


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Creigh Deeds • Michael Steele • New Jersey • Virginia
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Johnny DC

    The GOP doesn't need a blueprint.

    Democrats screw things up on their own when given the opportunity to shine.

    Whether or not you like or disagree with conservative stances on social and security issues, there is nothing to like about Democrats in power. They accomplish nothing and expose themselves to be the frauds we on the GOP side knew all along.

    October 29, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom

    I suppose that Virginia will have to forget all about the BUSH DISASTER. And how Bush bailed out Wall Street and Big Banks, but not middle-class America!

    I suppose that Virginia will have to forget that Bush spied on American citizens, all of us. Breaking the laws of our Constitution.

    I suppose that Virginia will have to forget that Bush LIED to America about the real reason to invade Iraq....... OIL.

    I suppose that Virginia will have to forget that during the Bush Regime Middle-class Americans income dropped by $1500 annually; while the 1% of the wealthiest Americans doubled or even tripled their wealth.

    I suppose that Virginia will have to forget that Bush left our Nation in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

    Now...... IF....... the people of Virginia liked ALL that Bush did; IF they decide they want Republican control again...... then fine. But don't complain when Virginia gets into trouble.

    October 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. clifford in New York

    We love you Micheal Steele!

    October 29, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Russ

    Please Mr. Steele, Virginia is a Republican state and almost always votes Republican. Nice blueprint!!! Check the history of previous elections you moron.

    October 29, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Bones

    For those of you who watch The Daily Show, I just can't stop picturing the disgruntled restaurant patron from Sesame Street when I see this guy. He is a spitting image! How can anyone take this guy seriously? Especially after his weak attempt to take the GOP to the streets! What up Mike!?!?! That lasted about a day.

    October 29, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Jay

    Go look in the mirror pal. Then go look at almost all the guys in the party you think (and wish) are a part of. I wonder what they really say about you when you aren't around. The world sees this for what it is Mr. Steele–a pathetic attempt by the Republican party to look inclusive. You're an ostensible puppet. Too bad you can't see that. Then again, you do atleast think that you belong to the Republican party.

    October 29, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Jane H

    What a stupid analysis? VA has traditionally voted republican in its entire history except for occasional democrats at the governor and the presidential level. I am a Republican but have serious problems with what we are doing. Why didn't the Republicans do anything over the last 9 years regarding healthcare? Did the Republicans listen to the democrats when in power? So far, other than criticizing democratic solutions as socialism and government takeover, why can't the Republicans offer a healthcare package and say – "This is our PLAN". It looks like the Republicans killed a bill during the clinton years and now again without any solutions when there were opportunities to do so on healthcare for the citizens of this country.

    October 29, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Sgt. USMC

    If I were a republican I would think twice about declaring myself a winner. You've got a long way to go steele. And you are far from a winning party. You are on life support as far as I'm concerned.

    October 29, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Steve

    So, the basic idea is to pretend you're not a right-wing radical and pretend that you'll create jobs for the common folk? McDonnell, who probably will win next week, has run deceptive ads, lied about his past - and I'm not talking about 20 years ago - and his opponent, and hidden his real agenda for Virginia. His ideas will bankrupt the state and endanger its AAA bond rating. For all the years of Democratic control over the statehouse, Virginia has been recognized for the excellence of its management. Now we want to change that when we need fiscal responsibility more than ever? I dearly hope not.

    October 29, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. jeremy.....Dallas...Texas

    Lets get serious Americans! Have we easily forgotten that republicans trushed us with 2yrs of recession and more serious they lied about it? Are we this foolish to vote back same people same policies?

    October 29, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. CHANGE.COM

    I beg to disagree with you, Mr. Steele. The Democratic impending loss in Virginia is due to the nomination of a weak candidate with no message. Deeds was a weak candidate who should not have won the nomination. In the final analysis, Virginians will wake up and cry foul once McDonnell shows his true color. Besides, I see the fatigue factor with Virginia Democrats (after the bruising presidential election less than 12 months ago) which led to Deeds nomination and his would-be eventual loss.

    October 29, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. aa

    GOP has no success. GOP is done long time a go

    October 29, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. The Party of No = The Party of Nobody

    They might win Virginia, but they are not going to win New Jersey.

    October 29, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. notfooledtx

    I guess mr. steele missed the poll published in the washington post that stated that 70% of virginians said that the election is in no way shape or form based on the president. In fact, in virginia Pres. Obama has a 54% approval rating.

    As usual, Steeles living in his own alternate reality.

    October 29, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Hugo

    Jesse Ventura had it right, we are only one party better than communism!

    Let's send them a message in 2010 and 2012 America!

    October 29, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. AustHall

    If Michael Steele says that this is "a blueprint for success for the GOP", then it is bound to fail miserably.

    Steele has been and continues to be wrong about everything. WHAT prompted the Republicans to elect him as their national party chairman?

    Steele has proven himself to be grossly incompetent and totally clueless

    October 29, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. lori

    Umm hasn't Virginia always been a Red State. People were surprised that it went to President Obama. If this is their "blueprint" good luck.

    October 29, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Gene in San Diego

    What he means by "downplay the conservative position on social issues" is hide or lie about their extreme right wing views because they are far out of step of main stream America. It's working in Virginia. The Rep. candidate has extreme right wing views, especially about women and few are talking about it.

    October 29, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. RH1

    Virginia has always been red, from what I see, hear, read and feel, today's RIGHT WING Republican Party is still the most hated of all.
    It tends to move backwards instead of forward. This is a free country and people can vote for whom ever they like, but please do not take the possible win here seriously because it shows very little.

    October 29, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. john u

    I thought Party Chairman Limbaugh ordered Republicans to NOT run away from their conservative social credentials.

    October 29, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Remember the Republican 19 page blueprint for the economy and budget???If Virginia elects a Republican then they deserve every sad remorseful day they get...

    October 29, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. mark

    Just let obama continue to run America into the ground and 2012 is all Republicans...

    October 29, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. TCM

    The GOP doesn't need much of a blueprint. With the DNC organizing "gang-style," virtual hits on republicans...like they're doing to Sarah Palin...well, the country's had enough of their shallow crybaby wallowing, and will lean towards the conservative tone that's propelled our nation to greatness. Liberalism is a flash in the pan; a virus that strikes the minds of the weak and causes them to become self-centered and destructive in nature towards all that's good. No, the DNC will do in the DNC.......any organization that lives and breathes to destroy the reputation of an American citizen, like the DNC and MoveOn, Huffington...etc...is doing to Sarah Palin, well, they deserve the devastation that's coming their way.

    October 29, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. P.G

    What are you saying? For sucess, the GOP must lie or not discuss their position on social issues? Do you really think the masses are that stupid, Steele? We havent forgotten Bush and Cheney, and never will...

    October 29, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Steele also believes he can save the GOP all by himself. The only difference between Steele and Palin, Steele doesn't get it and Palin never will get it. The GOP is headless with a body that has no substance or direction.

    October 29, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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