December 21st, 2009
06:32 PM ET
11 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. Royster

    Steele: Here is MY opinion...for the last NINE years the GOP has been flipping the bird to the American public, and kissing the behinds of corporate America.
    As CNN reported using this acronym last week...why don't you STFU about your tiny opinion about a bil that will make America better whether you in the GOP want that or not.
    GOP: America First? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    December 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. kebo72

    Ok, Mr. Steele. So you've had enough. Big talk. Do something! Wait, you are part of the problem. The GOP had a chance (many chances) to provide better arguments and (if better) provide other solutions to improve health care. All you do is blow smoke out of your $#@. Quit whining. You and your party had 8 years to prevent this. Way to go.

    December 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Brian

    More than half the people in the country do not understand what a
    "Public option" or what a "deficit" is. Their opinion alone can not solve problems and because they lack the ability to look ahead, they are just fine with the status quo. Where were they when the free market and capitalism were outsourcing American jobs to build corporate profit and line the pockets of the few in charge? I am not a bleeding heart liberal but the right needs to come up with ideas that do more than protect their cronies in the insurance industry!

    Don’t purchase health care, and then hope you never get sick. The problem is we, the tax payer will then have to pay for your poor decisions, wither its smoking or your choice of extreme sports that injure you or maybe just your alcohol poisoning.

    December 21, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Beverly in NC

    No it is the Republican Party who has spent this entire year working to destroy the lives of Americans and calling for our FAILURE.

    Republicans know their hate speech, constant negativity, criticism, lies, and NO on everything had backfired on them. They are trying to attack the Democrats who have been the Party of the People trying to pass legislation to help homeowners keep their homes, try to get the housing market going again with homebuyer tax credits, restarted the auto industry with the "Cash fore Clunkers" program and pulled us back from total economic collapse left to us the greedy Republicans.

    Republicans don't care about Americans. They have never. They are representatives of the rich, white, elite and the large corporations who abuse their employees and CEOs who take home obscene salaries and bonuses.

    Republicans care nothing about anyone but themselves and grabbing power. They are traitors to America and have betrayed the people they fooled into voting these do-nothings.

    Name ONE things the Republican party has done for America this entire year! NOTHING but try to stir up racist lunatics to encourage violence. They have endangered our nation with their treasonous remarks and the constant garbage coming from their private lie machine – FOX "news". They have done everything to divide our nation and have done everything but call President Obama the "N" word.

    They are disgusting, amoral, self-serving, arrogant jerks who will find themselves defeated in another landslide come November. We may not be able to buy their votes like the banking and insurance industry does but we do have OUR VOTE and will get rid of all these anti-American do-nothings. The GOP is dead and stuck in the past.

    December 21, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. drew

    Who cares what this hack sell-out thinks?

    December 21, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Warren

    Actually, they're just flipping a bird to the party of No. There is another (more than) half to the "American People" you speak of, a half that is quite sensible, quite intelligent, and quite ready to embrace reform for a dire situation in which we are all involved. Also, this half of the country seems to not be in pitiful denial

    Republicans are not the only Americans. You all could try opening your eyes and looking around, instead of covering your face with your hands shouting "NO NO NO." Times are changing, and you can blame the current administration all you want, but that does not change the fact that you haven't done a thing to help.

    December 21, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Ben

    FredGArvine – "Mr. Steele demonstrates the utter ignorance and lack of compassion in the GOP"

    And you demonstrate your utter ignirance of the realities of the Democratic plan, which means higher taxes and poor quality for EVERYONE.

    December 21, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Jerry

    To those who are defending this type of heath reform you must be either a union or goverment employee. In this bill those are the only ones who will benefit, not the poor and certainly not middle class. Vote the all out and lets start over.

    December 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. lemmy

    Well based on the posts here, the US is finished. I have not seen a bigger collection of parroting drones vomiting the rhetoric of the left and right.

    Say goodbye to the USA folks. Its over-

    December 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. SocialismBad

    Democrats, liberals and "progressives" always know what is best for all you dummies. Just ask them! They are used to taking care of all the people in this country who never work or pay taxes yet have endless free government programs that magically provide for all their needs.

    Be quiet sheep and grab hold of that ever growing socialist goverment teet and suck down the juices of complete government dependence. Close your eyes and inhale that free government medicinal MaryJane and all will be fine. All those big bad rich people, businesses and citizens stupid enough to go to work every day will pay for everything! After all, you earned it simply by being born in the USA. You are ENTITLED to the BEST and at NO EXPENSE to you. Ain't America great!

    December 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Jane/Seattle

    Not a good bill! Just more pre-planned Screwings for the American public. Car Insurance is a Mandate. Affordable Healthcare is a Right! Just ask happier countries like Denmark about how good they have it ! We are a Fascist country. Democracy and Freedome are just words trotted out to fool the gullible, ignore-ant, and uncritical thinkers! We have a two-party system that appears to be in conflict, but actually acts in complete accord when it comes to helping their financial friends! This is the bottom line. America functions by the Will of the Elites! Elections are just farces that further deceive us into thinking we are represented! We actually are a very oppressed people.

    December 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Albert K. L.A., CA

    The Congressional Record now makes it clear who was flipping off over 30 million American people without health care , which makes them the Death Panel; The “R” Party (Raging Radical Reactionary Religious Right-wing Races Redneck Republican Party for the Rich). Being a white male American I am embarrassed at how a Party with such a large white majority is acting.

    December 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    ": i'm tired of being taxed to pay for your mistakes"

    Right...because the only people unemployed or suffering financial hardship are doing so because it's their own da-n fault. It's all their own faults that 30 million people are unemployed right now and/or suffering bankruptcy and.or getting sick and having exorbitant medical bills and/or going through foreclosure, etc. Here that everyone? YOUR SUFFERING IS YOUR OWN FAULT, NO MATTER WHAT. You heard it here first. Now go live accordingly, so the rich, wealth and powerful don't have to pay the country back for having all those meaningless freedoms and opportunities that really don't matter even though it's how they got rich (you know, assuming it wasn't just inheritence and consolidation/hoarding of wealth within a family line, etc.).

    December 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Bill

    What a joke the GOP is. The Democrats won the election and their position on health care reform was an important part of the election. They are simply following through on their promises. As far as I am concerned someone needs to flip off the GOP!

    December 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. The Irony of Religion

    "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, by all means, let's have Americans run health care. I mean it's not like we default on payments, quit anything that requires actual work and dedication, or spend money on necessities like guns, crosses and picket signs.

    December 21, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Michael Steele is no more than the Republicans "Shoeshine Boy" that was pulled up on the blood, sweat and tears of many that died. His forefathers would be ashame of him, he's lost his way.

    December 21, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Republicman

    look at all the racist left wingers. If u don't agree with him, u must be a racist.

    December 21, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. JR

    How do you like the gall of Steele, he doesn't even speak for republicans, much less all Americans.

    December 21, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Bill

    I'm guessing that Michael Steele pays for his family's health insurance out of his own pocket. Anyone?

    December 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. JA/TN

    please, all opposed why don't give up the taxpayers susidized healthcare the you have, where is the patriotism and christian values

    December 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. blockgreg

    It's awesome that a millionaire knows how to provide health care for his family. Really awesome. What a great country. Maybe HE should tell us how the rest of us are supposed to afford it.

    December 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. not alone

    All you have to ask is, Michel where was your party when this bill was being formed and have you helped make a better bill for Americans? Alas that answer is NO! Maybie instead of whinning like kids who had their toys takin away for being bad(voted you butts out of office), Maybie you could have stepped up to the plate and really worked for a very fine health bill, ( for the good of all Americans) but i guess you was to busy slamming every thing the dems tried to put fourth.As the old saying goes,"you get out what you put in to something" and all your party put in was NOTHING! Stop whinning we're tired of the party of NO hope, No sulutions, and NO help.

    December 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. johnrj08

    Once again, Michael Steele proves that he is not dealing with a full deck and uses juvenile speech to prove it. If anybody is being given the "bird" here, it is the Republican Party, which has become an anti-governing body of 19th century thinkers who are held captive by their ideology. As for Steele, he thinks by simply stating something to the media it is fact. For some ignorant people, that may be true. But I think most Americans understand exactly where he's coming from here, and it ain't the best interests of people.

    December 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Jason

    Why do all the people in favor of this bill not see the costs are too great, especially in a time when we should be cutting our spending, not finding ways to spend more. Every great nation of the world has fallen at some point, and our decline is well on its way with the passage of this bill. I'm all for health care for everyone, but this is NOT the right time.

    December 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. New Age Independent

    I don't care for Steele very much and don't think he's an effective leader any more than Dean for the Democrats. Both are horrible choices. But unfortunately Steele, in this case is absolutely correct.

    December 21, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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