December 21st, 2009
06:32 PM ET
6 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. Bunksplace

    These Republicans and Tea Party bozos must have their heads in the sand! Health care costs are already out of sight so hopefully the reforms in the bill will lower costs and finally allow millions of Americans to buy insurance. As far as I can tell, Republicans are beholding to the insurance industry and have no problem with their CEO's and executives raking in millions of $$$ in bonuses while millions of Americans go without health insurance. What did the Republicans do on health reform when they occupied the White House and controlled congress the past 8 years. Absolutely nothing! They started an ill-conceived war in Iraq where Americans and innocent Iraqis die everyday, not to mention the drain on our country's treasury. Finally, what's wrong with the women in this country who don't speak out against the old, white men in congress impinging on their abortion rights! Talk about the government getting between a patient and her doctor this is the classic example!

    December 21, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. ACCOUNTANT

    Remember it takes a brain to be a Republican, otherwise you become the party of losers a Democrat

    December 21, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Mike Dallas

    That is exactly what the republicans did to the American people when the polls showed that a majority were opposed to the war in Iraq.

    So now you cons listen to polls?

    Seems you should be applauding President Obama for ignoring the polls and keeping with his "principles" like you did for the former chump-in-chief and his administration that left this great country on the brink of a depression..

    December 21, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Don Jones

    The repubs are a shovel ready party-6 feet under and pushing up daisies. This bill, however, is not good enough It still lets the weasel insurance companies off the hook Their day of reckoning will soon come, but not soon enough. I hope our politicians don't pat each other on the back for this bill passage, none of them have the guts to stand up to big pharma or the insurance companies. I guess gutlessness is a pre-existing condition..

    December 21, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Nicholas

    Dang, those repubs sure do have a short memory dont they? Didn't they nearly ruin this country after 8 years of their rule? Haha, no one is dumb enough to vote them back into office, Obama will win again in 2012...

    December 21, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. C Spurgeon

    This guy is a total wacko and in cahoots with the rest of the thugs thinks he speaks for Americans. Well not this one buster. Go soak your head...

    December 21, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. jake

    If Steele says its bad ,I'm for it. I would say his I Q is somewhere between Shara Palin's and George W. Bush's. In other words, he is a idiot

    December 21, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Rick

    All you Demo lovers, we will see what you talking in 2014 when you get the bill?

    Best of luck to us all becuase we are going to need it.

    December 21, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. MJ

    Beverly in NC – You must be a racist!! Democrats as a party are no more for the people than Republicans as a party. And if people would do alittle research they would find that the republicans actually did offer some amendments to health care reform and were shot down by the democratic leadeship. If you think pelosi, reid, dodd, and the other nuts in congress have your best interests at heart you are really going to be suprised unless you are one of the leeches sucking off the system.

    December 21, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Big Al

    Since I have seen no poll that indicates a majority of the American public believes this bill and the bull sheet being spouted by the facist left will do anything to help the majority of citizens of this country, I believe we will have the last laugh come 2010.

    Hopefully at that time the right will be able to correct the perilous course this radical group has charted.

    December 21, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Tom from VA

    Great idea someone had! Wonder if the new plan includes involuntary vocal cord removal for nut cakes like this one! Funny, I recall Obama got voted in and ran on a platform of health care reform...where were you Steele? GOP'ers oppose anything and everything that Obama does...big surprise.

    December 21, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Donald

    I am so disappointed with Michael Steele. He was afraid to hold Rush Limbaugh accountable the verbal vitiolics that Rush was spewing out about the president and how the president should be assassinated. He lost his integrity as a leader. American will soon realized that God would have president Obama to assume the presidency at such a time as this. Last year when the finacial crisis was beginning to be manifested, Senator McCain shut down his campaign and flew to Washington. Well, as president Obama had said, "If you wants to be president, you should be able to multitask". President Obama is no dummy. He has expended a lot of political capital early in his presidency on the big ticket item of Health Care Reform and set a time table for drawing down the troops from the two war campaigns and simultaneously managing the messy economy he has inherited from the GOP. Any one who has understanding of economics will know that the stimulus package and the bank bailout save the economy from falling into a depression. The economy will rebound by the third year of president Obama's first term and then with the savings from the troop draw down, the federal deficit will reduce substantially. The federal government will then have more to invest in the American people. Also as the president's green initiatives start to take hold America will rely less on foreign oil and also will help the environment. I see a second term for the president. As Lloyd Axelrod told John King on CNN State of the Union, it is the media and the pundits job to worry about polls. The president's job is to manage the affairs of America. God bless America

    December 21, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Chad

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa! That is all I heard. I like how the GOP doesn't like the democratic process. What Michael Steele is saying in a nut shell is "the people voted these people into office, and now these same people are pushing the agenda they we're voted on to push. But we don't like it" The GOP had zero problem pushing all their bills through when they were the majority. Some days your the windsheild, somedays your the bug, Mr. Steele.

    December 21, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Don Child

    Steele is right and wrong. The government doesn't know better than his family, how to take care of their health.

    The congress does know, however, that the current system of monopoly by large payers and big pharma does not work very well. That is the part of the healthcare equation the bill is designed to fix ... not the consumer end. And the full bill would make it easier for more consumers to decide how to take care of their own health.

    Today, I can't decide ... my insurance company decides for me. You don't think there's something wrong with that? The GOP don't seem to mind their choices being controlled by private industry, as long as they can invest in the industry and make some money from it. So be realistic. It's now who controls your family's health care choices ... it's who controls the money that goes into delivering healthcare. If the plan reduces the amount of money and gives you more choices, what's the problem?

    December 21, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Lynne - Seattle

    Another thought....can we say hypocrite? "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." But it's ok for conservatives to tell a woman she can have an abortion?

    Get a grip on reality!!!!!!!!!

    December 21, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Russ in Benton

    The United States of Amercia is not a direct Democracy, the President, and both houses of congress are elected to do what they think is best for the people.

    December 21, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Craig

    PEOPLE DESERVE HEALTHCARE. The Democrats get it, while the Republicans don't. Let's just say it like it is: Republicans don't want you to get sick, but if you do, die quickly. That's what they've always wanted. For them, it's all about the dollar or how can we make a buck at the expense of the environment. To hell with everyone else. ENOUGH.

    December 21, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Jaimon

    Both sides agree on about 60% of Health Care reform. We could have lifted interstate competition bans, cancelled anti-trust exemptions for health insurers, and created a nationwide health insurance marketplace with true bipartisan acclaim 8 months ago.

    Instead we get a "comprehensive" plan that includes every good AND bad idea all together that is so shaky not even moderate Republicans will touch it and many Dems have required bribes – Single state exemptions for hold out Senators.

    Medicare cuts? Not for Nebraska! Stopping health insurer monopolies? Not in Lieberman's district! New Hospitals in the home district of every whiney holdout!
    Every Republican and Democrat who stood on principle (either for or against the bill) was screwed by the greedy flip-floppers.

    December 21, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Flex

    The republicans are concerned how they will raise money. They only care about power and control over our private lives!

    December 21, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Florida Joe

    It is the repubs flipping the bird to America.......How many times did we hear they would have their health bill ready....What did we get? NOTHING...........Their only amendments offered were more of the same............You had 6 straight years of control and yet you did NOTHING to help............Is the bill perfect? NO ...But after we get rid of the few like Nelson & Liberman we can correct the shortcomings........The Repubs lost, made this a political issue by trying to stop it to stop Obama.......YOU LOST......get over it

    December 21, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Mary

    Such class......

    December 21, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Truth Matters

    These over-priveleged Greed Over People buffoons are something else, aren't they?

    December 21, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Ed

    Its is amazing how long it took them just to get their own party on board! its that bad of an idea that the only way they could do it was by making back-door deals of billions fo dolalrs to special interests for each fence-sitter. The bought this vote to spend trillions of tax dollars by spending billions of tax dollars on pork. If they just spent the money the will waste on buying health insurance for those without it the problem wouldbe solved. The bills pends 75,000 a year for every uninsured american, when the most expensive private health plans don;t exceed 15,000 a year! Government Waste at work!

    December 21, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Doug

    Steele and Armey: hopeless and useless.

    December 21, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Danny

    If I were given a choice between spending a billion dollars over the next decade on helping AMERICANS get health care or spending it on a neverending war, I think I'd choose the former.

    December 21, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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