December 21st, 2009
06:32 PM ET
3 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. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    The majority of Americans voted for Al Gore for president in 2000..... Have a nice day!

    December 21, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Repubhypocrites

    I am flipping hypocritic Republicans the bird for being obstructionists and crybabies.

    December 21, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. simp

    What else do you expect steele the idiot to say? the democrats are the majority and he hates the fact that this passed based on the 60 votes by the democrats, he hates that. He like so many other's of the party of no thought that this bill would not pass because the 60 votes were not there, LMAOOOOOOOOOO. Well steele and dummy dick army you're wrong so shut the hell up and deal with it.

    December 21, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. RichP the Pocono's

    "Flipping the bird" I was thinking 'bending us over, again'.....

    December 21, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    People will not appreciate how truly awful the impact of this legislation is until they see health care costs bringing America to its knees and no improvement in the quality. They are not going to like this at all.

    December 21, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Fangbird

    How is doing what the majority of the American want and voted for in the last election "flipping the bird" to them? Steele's remarks demonstrate unequivocally that Republicans are not interested in doing the will of the people of this country and are not even tolerant of the fundamental democratic principles this country was founded on. Why do Republicans hate America so much?

    December 21, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Such an eloquent & classy guy for such a classy bunch of guys.

    December 21, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Jim

    steele says ""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.""

    well, yeah, you're set. what about the rest of us poor working class people? i say YOU, mr steele, are the one flipping the bird at the american people. i say it's high time YOU got in the process and became part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. and i say i'm tired of YOU AND THE REST OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY being the partisan road block you've been since the day your president took office. i say YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.

    December 21, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. peg johnson

    well, it's not about you or your family. It's about those who can't afford
    insurance: young people just starting in the work force, small business
    owners. Look at the larger picture.

    December 21, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Mike

    I would like to flip the bird to Mr. Steele! What an idiot! All those years the Republicians held majorities in the House AND Senate AND the White House...and what type of health reform did they give us? NOTHING! So he and other Republicians need to sit down, shut up, and don't touch anything....let the Democrats take care of the American people.

    December 21, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Alex

    This guy is just a joke. Look no further as to why not vote Republican.

    December 21, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. annie s

    Well, gosh, Mike, if I was in the same situation as you and your family – you know, covered by excellent government funded medical insurance, I might not have wanted reform either. But as it is, it came down to two sides – the side that knew something needed to be done, no matter how imperfect, and the side that wanted a President to fail so badly that they were willing to see Americans continue to die needlessly because of lack of medical insurance. How is it you can be anti-abortion but pro-death to those already born? No thanks, Republicans, I'll take the side that truly values life.

    December 21, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Sheryl

    And I am FLIPPING ONE TO YOU!!! You and Dick give me a break we the American People are not stupid...Repubs are not fighting for the American people stop the bull*&^(......Wake up people don't let the repubs play mine games with our Health Care!!!!

    December 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Traj

    Dope!!!!!!!!!

    December 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. R

    ...and fall for you and with you in battle...such is the case here.

    December 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. John

    Knowbody is flipping anybody the bird Mr. Steele. YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ALL AMERICANS, NOT EVEN MOST OF THEM. YOU CANT EVEN SAY WHATS ON YOUR OWN MIND. You are simply the black mouth piece chosen to by the republican party to give the impression that they are not racist.They have an image problem with that becase most republicans ARE racists. YOU SAY WHAT THEY TELL YOU TO SAY. AND YOU KNOW IT'S COMPLETE BS,. Flipping the bird indeed. You are a sellout, you should be ashamed for letting them make you say such things.

    December 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Joel in Ohio

    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."

    OMG I thought I heard it all. Dick Armey the guy who dumped his wife for one of his students. LMAO GOP hypocrites.

    December 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. WIlly Brown

    You must never forget this America. You must vote out all liberals in Congress and all the way down to your local hometown elections because all politics start locally. i.e. Barry Obummer.

    December 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Mr. Steele remember this. You would not have the job you do now were it not for the man in the White House. Had John McCain won, you would be nowhere near the position you hold now. For you to come out and howl at the moon is incredible. But, I have a way out for you. Distance yourself from your party's real constituency – the big health care interests.

    Explain the GOP's health care plan, please. We're waiting, sir.

    December 21, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. sherman webb

    Shut your mouth Mr Steele and be a part of the solution and not the problem Mr NO man!!! Here you are in a great position but all you are is negitive you and your party have NO ideas.

    December 21, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. ggb

    Absolutely! They are not listening to public outcry to their spending and disregard for the consitiution. The redirection of TARP funds and voting to expand our debts....all fools who need to go.

    December 21, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Eric

    America got bankrupted by Obama
    When they passed health reform Christmas eve
    You may say there's no such thing as Satan;
    But incarnate as Obama we believe!

    December 21, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. T'SAH from Virginia

    WOW – is the man of STEELE crazy???? He is "...tired of this Congress thinking it knows better than me and my family how to provide for our health care..." He also said, "...I am tired of the Congress thumbing their nose and flipping a bird to the American people..."

    American People = Me too

    YOU – meaning YOU and your RepubliCAN'T friends MESSED UP because instead of YOU and your Party of NO trying to make this thing WORK to most likely to some of your LIKIN' – YOU decided to bad-mouth the whole deal and for a whole year – YOU griped about NOTHING and did NOTHING!!

    So, now your HEAD STRONG & DEAD WRONG beliefs are down the drain and the REAL AMERICAN PEOPLE – the same Americans YOU claim are not a part of YOUR America will finally have health coverage!!!

    December 21, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Peter s

    Mr. Token! did you consult with Rush ? I hope so otherwise you will be reprimanded

    December 21, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Duck Fallas

    Today's quiz:

    Why would it be so easy to pick out Michael Steele at a Tea Bag Party?

    December 21, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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