December 21st, 2009
06:32 PM ET
9 months ago

Steele: Dems 'flipping a bird to the American people'

Steele says the Democratic health care bill is 'bad for America.'
Steele says the Democratic health care bill is 'bad for America.'

(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made clear Monday he's not happy with Democratic efforts to pass a health care reform bill, saying the measure which cleared a procedural hurdle Sunday amounts to "flipping a bird to the American people."

"This is a bad bill. It's bad law. It's bad for America. It is bad certainly for individuals and enough is enough. I am tired of the Congress thumbing their nose and flipping a bird to the American people," Steele said on a conference call with reporters Monday. "I am tired of this Congress thinking it knows better than me and my family how to provide for our health care now and in the future."

Steele was joined on the call by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, the current head of FreedomWorks, in an apparent show of solidarity against the measure that narrowly passed a cloture vote in the early-morning hours Monday. Armey's group and the RNC have occasionally butted heads in the past year over the best way to tap into disapproval with Democratic policies, but Steele said Monday he is "honored" to work with "grassroots activists, tea partiers and others who are fighting the good fight."

FreedomWorks, which has provided much of the organizational heft behind the Tea Party movement, clashed with the RNC last fall when they endorsed an independent conservative in a New York congressional race over the GOP-backed candidate. As a result of the divided vote, the Democrat in the race won the conservative district for the first time in more than a century.

Letting bygones be bygones Monday, Steele called Armey "a man of principle, a man who has been able to reflect in a genuine way the voice of a lot of Americans out there."

"It's nice to know in this fight that you have individuals who are willing to stand up with you and lead the charge, individuals who you can follow into battle and who can follow you into battle and try and make sure we do what's best for the American people," said Steele.

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Steele's comments "obscene" in a Capitol Hill press conference Monday afternoon.

"I'm more worried about an example being set by a party leader with something so obscene, I think that's something people should be worried about," Reid said.


Filed under: Extra • Michael Steele
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Teabags go in the trash

    Steel stretches the truth so much it could be made of spandex. Fact is healthcare reform and every other initiative the current Govt is working through was in the Democratic Party's platform for the 2008 elections, and presented over and over at the party convention and in numerous campaign ads and stump speeches.

    This same platform went on to win over 60% of the vote. Elections have consequences beyooottchh :)

    December 21, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. LeftyMarty

    Please Michael...your party cares nothing for the average
    Joe American who carries a lunch pail or commutes to the
    office or works in a national park...etc, etc. Just put a lid on
    it and chalk yourself up to what you are.. a negativist failure
    and apologist for big corporate greed....and by the way..you
    "think" you are a part of corporate America...but u are a "tool"!

    December 21, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Kimberli

    I think what the Dems fail to realize is that it appears very underhanded to sneak in a vote at 1am Monday morning the week of Christmas. Healthcare Reform is a tremendously complex issue. The appearance this has given me is that the Dems are more concerned with passing the bill before Christmas than they are with whats in the bill. I don't even believe any of them have had adequate time to read the entire bill for themselves to make an informed decision. They just want to be able to declare victory before the end of the year. So rather than discuss a rather complicated piece of legislation, they work at warp speed to get it passed, and deal with the fallout later. Americans want their legislators to read the bill and then make an informed decision, not just vote yeah or nay based on party affliations and backdoor amendments.

    December 21, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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