August 6th, 2010
02:01 PM ET
8 years ago

Steele touts record of success at RNC

RNC chairman Michael Steele told party activists Friday that he has re-shaped the committee into a successful grassroots organization.

RNC chairman Michael Steele told party activists Friday that he has re-shaped the committee into a successful grassroots organization.

Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) - Facing questions about whether he can win a second term as chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele boasted Friday that he has re-shaped the committee from an unwieldy top-down behemoth into an agile grassroots organization with a record of success.

Appearing before committee members at the RNC summer meeting while donning a bright red cap emblazoned with the slogan "Fire Pelosi!," Steele painted a rosy picture of GOP unity ahead of the midterm elections.

"Thank goodness we have Republican 527s that are ready to go out and fight with us," Steele said, a reference to a several independent groups formed partly in response to concerns over RNC's dwindling financial muscle.

The RNC had $10.9 million in the bank at the end of June but pledged this week to raise $60 million more before the year is out. It's an ambitious goal considering that some top GOP donors have fretted over Steele's stewardship of committee resources.

But Steele said the 2008 election had left the RNC in a ruinous state and forced him to reconsider how the party does business.

"Where we had been a big old elephant plodding the states, demanding and dictating to the states, requiring the states to do the most unthinkable things in politics that really had nothing to do with winning and electing Republicans," Steele claimed, an apparent criticism of past chairmen.

"We had to change all of that, we had to move away from a top down approach," he added. "And we had to focus on becoming more nimble."

Steele said his efforts have been validated by GOP wins in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races and the Massachusetts Senate special election.

He also drew a standing ovation from the committee – many of whom also donned the red baseball caps - when he announced a 117-city "Fire Pelosi!" bus tour for this fall.

"Get on the bus! Get on the bus!" Steele implored, promising to take the party's message "to the streets" ahead of the midterm elections.

In response, the Democratic National Committee, which has seized on Steele's numerous gaffes over the last year and a half, jokingly announced a bus tour of their own.

"We also are doing a bus tour this fall - it's called the Don't Fire Michael Steele Bus Tour," quipped DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • Michael Steele • Nancy Pelosi • RNC
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. R Low

    The republican party leaders are bullies and their behavior is worse than childish. They aren't able to conduct themselves as adults and work out their differences with other members of Congress so they resort to lies, threats, distortions and character slander. Isn't this type of behavior what we try and teach our children not to follow? Can't these people develop some sense of ethics, decorum, and common sense?

    August 6, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Georgia from PA

    If Pelosi wasn't so benign I would consider the GOP attacking her a threat; but she stands for nothing and has an office full of cats (P-U),; little to worry about...That GOP are some tough guys too, beating up on a woman, guess they can't take down a man (a real man that is)

    August 6, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Success? Steele is the ring leader of the party of "NO" success.
    A circus of back-stabbing thugs who act like they support a bill just to weaken it until it is half as good as it could be, then vote "NO".

    Republicans are like that shifty little kid in the old neighborhood who always welched on bets and his word meant nothing. Because over and over he's proven to you that you can't trust him at his word.

    August 6, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    The GOP: they ain't happy unless they're firing, bombing, starving or hurting somebody in some manner. Wretched human beings.

    August 6, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Michael Jones

    I'd be fine with a level of insanity taking over the GOP, but there's unfortunately a critical mass of insanity in America. We might have to borrow your southern border fence in Canada. If these yahoos get in power again, you won't be needing it. We will.

    August 6, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Linda

    This guy reminds me of an ex-co worker who was always making derogatory remarks about black people. My ex-co worker was obviously racist. He hated being african american.

    August 6, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. CathyInAZ

    I believe the person who should be fired is MICHAEL STEELE!
    I am not a big fan of Ms. Pelosi BUT the last person who should be in charge is John Boehner! As far as I am concerned – ALL GOP and most Dems should be out on their keisters – just moderate individuals who will work together – THAT ELMINATES ALL GOP and TEA PARTY nominees! I have never seen such blatant, deliberate attempts to halt all progress this administration has tried. I do not agree with all, but the party of NO is despicable!

    August 6, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. C Smith

    Ah, so this is what they do with their time rather than coming up with intelligent ideas to move the country forward. Ride around on a bus. Seems very logical.

    August 6, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. get real

    The goofy red hat just confirms how childish these folks are.

    August 6, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. get real

    Success equals dwindling financial muscle...yup, that's pretty much what they did to the American economy.

    August 6, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Get A Grip

    Yes please....FIRE PELOSI. She doesn't deserve a dime of the taxpayers money. Also, she's one of the many filthy rich Democrats worth millions, so unlike many of us, if she were to get fired, Pelosi would do just fine.

    August 6, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Brook

    After they fire Pelosi, maybe they can replace her with Basil Marceaux-Dot-Com...? I'm sure he'd be able to articulate the GOP message admirably, esp. with coaching from head hipster Michael Steele. BTW, I think it's delightfully ironic the GOP are now taking on the role of "community organizer" with their "grassroots" strategy. Maybe they can even get Basil to mow their lawn.

    August 6, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. JR Matthews

    Leave it to CNN to leave out the most controversial statement Steele made. "PELOSI WILL BE IN THE BACK OF THE BUS!"
    Steele is nothing more than a prop for a racist group of old white rural men who have nothing better to do than ask for money from people who have none.
    Maybe if the helped push job creation we would be a bit better off than 9.5 unemployment.

    August 6, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. ST

    "But Steele said the 2008 election had left the RNC in a ruinous state and forced him to reconsider how the party does business."
    Same way Bush did to the country during his era of 8 years, though Republicans don't want anyone even to whisper about it!

    August 6, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Ron

    What about the billions you added to the deficit when you gave the rich a tax break? How about the two wars you got us into without any means of paying for them? How about the deregulation of the banks, big business, wall street and insurance companies that almost put this country into financial ruin? Since your raising money why don't you pay back the American people for all the problems you caused? How about giving back jobs to all the people who lost them because of your bad governance?

    August 6, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. dan

    What does that even mean, "Fire Pelosi!" Pelosi has one of the most liberal districs... her seat is safer than any other member of congress. It just goes to show how stupid the GOP thinks most republicans are. That looks like a hat some redneck would buy at the conservative equivalent of Urban Outfitters.

    August 6, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Ken

    Actually, America plans on firing the elitist queen and her private jet set agenda that represents a small minority of the citizenry. So long Nancy! it's been far too long in coming....

    August 6, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. Tony

    Hum....after 8 years of Republican stealing from the poor and middle class to give to the super rich and corporations, 2 failed wars and an economic meltdown on par wit the great depression, Bush and his cronies were fired by the voting public. Since then, the GOP has fought tooth and nail any change to bring us back from the brink THEY brought us to. Yeah, voters are going to put the GOP back in power to finish destroying our country so we only have the super rich and everyone else in abject poverty.......

    August 6, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. DVA

    Still no constructive ideas from the GOP......only how they want say NO to everything this administration attempts. So far so good, we need the likes of Steele, Angel, Palin, Bachman, as leaders in the GOP and don't forget Limbaugh, he really is bossman "Conservatives walk backward, pretending it is the future" (George Soldes) and "The more men have to lose, the less willing they are to venture" (Thomas Paine) These two quotes seem to sum it up quite nicely.

    August 6, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. dejah_thoris

    Fire Pelosi and do what? Return this country to more years of bitter wrangling and the failure of GOP policies?

    Why should we want you back in charge? You've shown through eight weary years of Bush that you can't run a country. Hell, you can't even run your own party well! You cater to the most extremist, ugly, hateful people this country has ever seen. You want to tax the crap out of the common person but give gifts to the wealthy. You want churches to tell the rest of us how to live our lives, apparently forgetting that we have separation of church and state in this country.

    Why would anybody in their right mind for people who can only say "No" to normal Americans, but bend over and spread 'em for corporations and the wealthy? You've been obstinate, hateful, and anti-American.

    Sorry GOP - I will do what I can to make sure that people around me know what losers you guys are. You hate this country - you've done everything you can to make it a hellhole by kowtowing to the religious fanatics of the right.

    August 6, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Ron

    Money won't help you. You've tarnished your images by supporting those who destroyed our economy in the first place. "Fire Pelosi"? Try cutting the fat in your own party first if you want to win anything!

    August 6, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. davo/kissimmee

    Go to the gay bars on those roadtrips and ask for their help in raising that 60 mill. Make sure you wear that red hat!

    August 6, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Jerry D

    Keeping Steele around is a present for the DNC. Every time that man opens his mouth, the party of No loses about 100 votes.

    August 6, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Pkm

    You better ask your daddy russ limbum if he saids do not think or you will geta spanking

    August 6, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    I hope he gets reelected. He is the best thing to happen to the left along with
    Palin, Bush, McCain,Rush,Beck,O'Reilly,Hannity and man Colter.

    August 6, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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