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. FredGArvine

    I would rather have them flip the bird then turn their back as the GOP would do to any person who cannot afford health care. We don't want to mess with Mr. Steele's right to make his health care decisions but what about the people whose only choice is no health care. Mr. Steele demonstrates the utter ignorance and lack of compassion in the GOP. Let them eat cake.

    December 21, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Indiana Voter

    @God Bless President Obama!

    So what you are saying is that you would rather ALL of America suffers under this bill, just to get those "evil" Republicans? You are what is wrong with America. No wonder people should have fear for the future of this country with idiots like this voting.

    December 21, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Bill P

    It strikes me as odd that Mr. Steele would bring up HIS health care as I am fairly certain that he has very good coverage and can see a doctor whenever he pleases.
    Perhaps if he had a chance to walk in the shoes of the working poor who have no health insurance he would have a different point of view!

    December 21, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Arlene, Illinois

    The Republicans go from NO, NO, NO, to

    Bad, Bad, Bad.

    Get a life Steele!

    December 21, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Ed Wachowski

    It is time for Michael Steele to think about what is best for this country, and not just his family and himself. Of course, he has the best coverage available, and I am sure at the taxpayers expense. You want the whole pie Mr. Steele. I am not sure of your educational level, but just a little common sense would tell you to refrain from statements such as "flipping the bird". As a Republican, I am embarrassed by your vulgarity and common street talk. Grow up, and show some class.

    December 21, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. UNEDUCATED AMERICA

    its amazing to read the comments, and see how many people think that either party cares about them or the constitution....

    vote them all out- take responsibility for your own actions- i'm tired of being taxed to pay for your mistakes

    you have a right to eat whatever you want, you have the responsibility to take care of your health

    December 21, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. byron

    all politicians "flip the bird" to the american people at one point or another... atleast this time I'm getting some health insurance and not a war.

    December 21, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. JP

    Actually they are flipping the bird to your kids and grandkids who will owe the money.

    December 21, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Keith Hooker

    Hey tough guy, I paid $13,000 last year for my family to be health insured. How does the average – dare i say – Joe Plumber pay for benefits? A public option, which was shut down, would make the insurance companies own up, honor up and make it a fair market as it should be with out the lobby fat cats running the money show.

    Sounds to me like we are getting the bird from you and your base.

    I vote – How do you like me know Mr. Steele?

    Keith Hooker
    Carrollton, TX

    December 21, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Sgt. USMC

    You'd rather have the insurance companies tell you what's best for your family right steele? Why don't you say something that makes a little sense to people every now and then and maybe we'll start taking you seriously. The bottom line is that you and your buddies don't want the President to succeed at our expense. You only care abou tyour party.

    December 21, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Fitz in Texas

    They better enjoy it while they can because come 2010 and 2012 it will be a joyous time for most Americans when these Democrats are voted out of office. Lets just hope we can clean up the damage this administration is doing.

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

    Michael Steele: Big-mouth, No-nothing, Jerk of the Year

    Yes, Steele is even a bigger big-mouth, no-nothing year than Rush Limbaugh.

    December 21, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Indiana Voter

    @ Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    And the bird is being "flipped" right back at YOU Dutch/Bad Newz, VA as well by most every Republican. You have never had anything good to contribute to the discussion except the whole admitting you are a pansy liberal leftist democrat wing nut.

    December 21, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I dont like getting flipped off but if Mr. Steel thinks he can do it better then maybe he should make history twice in a roll and run for president I just filled out my new registration card .

    December 21, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Lisa

    The republicans had eight years to fix the health care system. They did nothing but took us to war based on a lie and put us in a recesssion. We should be flipping a bird to George W. Bush and his republican friends.

    December 21, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. CHANGE.COM

    Oh no, Steel, it's you and the GOP, the party of NO, that has been flipping a finger at the American public. Look at the four fingers pointign at you, Steel. Shame on you and the GOP for fingering America since 2001!

    December 21, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Jon

    @Sgt. USMC

    I know we're not broadcasting political affilitation with rank and branch of service are we? Big no no Devil Dog.

    December 21, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Jay

    How about I flip the bird to you, Steele?

    December 21, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. erp

    American insurance companies and self-interested medical lobby groups, aided and abetted by their well-financed GOP political lobbyists, have been "flipping a bird" ( or should we simply say swindling?) to the American people over health care for over a century. The bill does not go far enough, but at least it's a good start.

    December 21, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. parker

    Flipping the bird? Please, what phrase would you use for W's administration for 8 years. At least Obama is putting something out there. Your puppet W didn't even offer a plan. And from what I can tell, there is not plan from the Repubs now AT ALL. And also, Steele says he and his family should be choosing their health care. True enough. But at least they have a choice. I don't and haven't for more than 5 years. I have been rejected by every health care provider in the USA because I have type one diabetes. So Mr. Steele, give me a better option. Until then, shut the f – - – up. The only people complaining about the health care bill are those with health care and those that do not have serious preexisting conditions. Why are the Republicans such idiots? Why don't they get it?

    December 21, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. james

    We are flipping the bird to the GOP!

    This is what the voters asked for HEALTH CARE REFORM!

    To you people that keep saying MY KIDS WILL PAY FOR THIS...where the hell were you when the GOP and BUSH got us into Iraq...a war that was NOT JUST CAUSE??

    To the old people that are saying don't let the government touch health care..GUESS WHAT, ITS CALLED MEDICARE!

    Get a clue GOP...you only care for business and not people! Steel your a joke of a man!

    December 21, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Jason

    You mean like when Bush did exactly that at a camera in prep for a debate? Shows you what his whole contempt mindset for the American people was all about!

    December 21, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "jive turkey in the White House"

    Nope, no racism here...not at all...Carter was indeed crazy to even suggest....just completely rational and reasonable arguments based on facts and evidence. Look over there, a shiny thing!

    December 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. The Irony of Religion

    So now the American people are in charge of the Legislative branch?

    No sir, that's why we vote. And you know what? You had 6 years of Republican controlled Congress and Presidency.

    And what did you do with that time?!?!?!

    That's what I thought.

    December 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. MBC

    Not the American people, Mike, just those like yourself that represent the Corporatocracy this country has become!

    December 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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