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. Mike

    The republicans are a dying party of old, white men. If we can turn the economy around, get out of iraq and win in afganistan the repubs won't stand a chance in 2012. Let them whine! Lets get to work and rescue this country from the destructive path Bush and his corporate masters led us down over the past decade!

    December 21, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Just you wait until the 2010 elections when you will see what real work is about and Conservatives/Republicans take control and get this nation back on track."

    LOL...you guys are priceless. You may win some seats...in fact, I'm willing to bet you will, because there's nowhere to go but up from where you guys are currentlly at, but it won't be filibuster proof. Have fun with that and the veto pen.

    December 21, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. brad

    I'm not happy with this bill. It has been so watered down (thank you very much republicans). Luckily I can pay for my own insurance. But for how long. I feel for those with a family. Unable to deal with the insurance company in a legal way. Those who fought against this should be ashamed of themselves. Keep bringing up socialism, welfare, etc. All you did was strengthened the insurance company and not empowered the people. Personally, I am not sure the health industry be a capitalist venture. Make money on the ills of people especially when they need it desperately. And unable to fight. At least this bill may be a start but I wonder. After this past year I am so disgusted with the republican party. Seeing for what they are. Self serving. That's not to say I don't see issues with the Democrats. I do.

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

    Mr. Steele needs to get over the fact that the Republicans lost the last two elections and are now in the minority.

    December 21, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Enjoying It

    It amuses me how liberals think the same number of doctors and nurses are going to provide more and better care to a greater number of people, and cheerfully do it for less money. It just reinforces the conclusion that liberalism and rational thinking are incompatible. I only hope the next Congress can pass a blanket rescission of everything this socialist Congress has done.

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Michael Hsu

    Not sure it's flipping a bird, but definitely a middle finger.

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Nathan,

    Steele is a kiss ass. This bill will not tell his family (those poor souls) how to handle their healthcare. This bill will allow millions who don't have healthcare to access it. If he didn't have his head so far up the most prominent conservative of the moment's butt he would realize some things other than the nonsense he's programed to spew.

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Brian

    Steele is delusional. The Republicans aren't even participating in our elected government – They vote on nothing, and do their constituents a huge disservice by boycotting everything, despite huge concessions made for them on virtually every bill. The real "thumbing" of the American people comes from republicans, who only represent their party/special interests, not the people who elected them. They don't vote yes or no, they don't vote at all. Disrupting, boycotting, delaying and misrepresentation is not public service – and it's all I have seen them do this year. Their only focus seems to be to tear down Obama and get re-elected – and that is not what they themselves were elected to do.

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Ed Tallahassee

    And when the Republicans tried to Filibuster Military Funding who were they flipping the bird to?

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. BillyBobThortomSICKOFRETHUGLICANLIES!

    All rethuglicans should have their vocal chords removed. All they do is spew lies and nonsense.

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Aggressive Progressive

    Somebody should remind Steele that they lost the election last year, and in 2006, and that Americans gave the finger to the Republican Party by giving control of all Houses to the Dems. I'm pretty sure that the Dems campaigned on reforming health care (wait, so did McCain!) so actually following through on a promise is actually a good thing.

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Jean

    Why publish garbage like this

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. JD

    Steele has a very valid point. The vast majority of Americans OPPOSE this monstrosity of socialism. Even the reported "six percent jump" in approval of the bill was only a lift of 36% approval to a mere 42% approval rating. That means that 58% to 64% of Americans OPPOSE this monstrosity that Pelosi, Reid and 0bama are trying to ram down our collective throats.

    If the Democrats mean to fall on their sword and assure that they are swept out of the seats of power in 2010 and 2012, then they should just keep doing what they're doing.

    If the Democrats put even HALF as much energy into getting this nation back to work and improving the economy than they've spent on this nonsense, nobody would have to worry about having health insurance. They'd all have jobs with health benefits!

    December 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. chris

    The "Do Nothing – Status Quo" party is flipping TWO birds!

    December 21, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Bob (Illinois)

    It is truly amazing how you mange to stick your foot in your mouth every time it is open.

    The Republican Party deserves you!

    December 21, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Syed Shamsuddoha

    Does this man understand what is good and what is bad?

    Cheers.

    S

    December 21, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. dee

    What a dumb arse! Why do you and the G NO P keep playing with MY intelligence? Don't do that.You say NO either because want to see the Pres. I.E. The American Fail or the insurance company own yall or both. Just admit it. At least offer somthing anything.

    December 21, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. David

    Michael Steele should thank God for Sarah Palin, otherwise he would easily be the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party! This man's repeated attempts at street vernacular only make him sound silly; he's insulting the group he's pretending to be a part of, and making himself an even bigger laughing stock to the real power players in his own party. Palin/Steele 2012! What a blessing that would be.

    December 21, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Mr. Moderate

    Aren't these the same people that praised the previous president as a stong leader because he stuck to his beliefs and did not follow the polls? Now they say health care reform should be killed because the polls say the majority of Americans are supposedly against it?

    The hypocracy shines thorugh once again.

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

    That's the truth all the blue dogs who were elected to pepresent their districts are flipping the bird to them, and we know Obama can flip the bird he did it to Hillary at a rally. If the Majority of Americans oppose the bill what would you call passing it? I think it is filliping the bird saying peasents you don't know what's good for you. I can't wait for the next government mandate!

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

    Geez already Grover! Make this guy's soup CORRECTLY the first time, or he'll continue to be an raving loon.

    December 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. sumday

    I've seen alot of opposition yet very little support for the bill yet congress pushes it through anyway. the gov. is flippen us the bird they don't care what we want only what they can spend! This bill does nothing but raise my taxes lower my benifits for all the useless lazy people in the USA. Majority yeah right 80% are happy now thats a majority.

    December 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Nothing New Here

    "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." He's talking about the Patriot Act, right?

    December 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. The Irony of Religion

    So many ideas on health care reform from the GOP. I mean has anyone seen all the proposed bills that the Republicans have put forth.

    So many choices, thanks GOP. You took action and created X amount of alternatives to most of the bills presented this year.

    You guys are fantastic. Thank you for providing X choices. Keep up the good work. The good hard work you have presented to us this year.

    Legend: X = 0

    December 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. steve

    The republicans don't need a plan lib's just get your government off the backs of the people and lower the taxes and get the h out of the way pathetic fools.

    December 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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