February 27th, 2009
05:58 AM ET
11 years ago

Steele to CPAC: The Republican party is just fine

RNC chairman Michael Steele spoke to the annual conservative conference Thursday.

RNC chairman Michael Steele spoke to the annual conservative conference Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Capping off a day of conservative soul-searching, strategizing and navel-gazing at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele announced Thursday that the Grand Old Party is “alive and well.”

Steele, addressing CPAC’s Presidential Banquet, told the audience that “the conservative movement must become a revolution,” and the goal “must be nothing less than the transformation of America.”

“Tonight, we tell America that Republican values, conservative values, are right for America,” he said, admitting that the party has made some mistakes. “Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad. But we go forward in appreciation of the values that brought us to this point.”

To much applause, Steele attacked the Obama administration’s recently-passed stimulus package, calling it “nothing short of frightening.” He said conservatives must use the political moment to re-assert their belief in a set of basic principles: limited government, freedom, opportunity and the ability of the free market to “create, innovate and prosper.”

November’s losses, he contended, should not be a discouragement.

“I am here tonight to reject the idea that defeats of the past are a repudiation of core conservative values and principles,” he said. “Nor do I believe that those defeats are a sign of things to come.”

The former Maryland Lt. Governor took a moment to honor two of his former rivals for the RNC chairmanship who were in attendance, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis.

Steele began his speech by needling Anuzis, who ran for the post on a platform of upgrading the party’s technological savvy.

“Alright Saul, stop Twittering,” he cracked.

As he concluded his remarks, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann - the event's moderator - told Steele he was “da man.”

“Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man,” she said.

Filed under: CPAC • Michael Steele
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. reshas1

    Thank you Michael Steele... Let's BRING IT ON!!!

    February 27, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Grab a DSM-IV and look up "borderline personality disorder"...that's the GOP.

    February 27, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Justin from New Haven, CT

    The Republican party is "off the hook" according to Steele. I'd say more like off their rockers.

    February 27, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. closet republican

    ok, her comments were totally unnecessary....

    February 27, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Burton Kemp

    Republicans need to be heard about why conservatism coupled with franchisement of capitalism in all its aspects is the best way for government to work. The countries of the past that have relied on the government rather than individual initiatives have all fallen from the forefront of leadership. Is America now heading down that slope, too, because so many Americans just won't take care of their own lives?

    February 27, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Robert

    Must be nice to live in LaLa land.

    February 27, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Jeff of Peoria

    The Republican Party will be just fine once all the people start seeing their taxes go up. This could very well be another one term President.

    MOST AMERICANS do not want "USA" to stand for United Socialists of America.

    February 27, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Aviate

    What's next, Ann Coulter spouting "Word to your mother"?

    Any truth to the rumor that Vanilla Ice will be the closing act?

    February 27, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Corky

    The collective intelligence of the posters on this site is nil. Very hilarioius to read the post of people that have no clue about History or economics. Give it two years ,you people wont know what hit you.

    February 27, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. J.

    Yeah right...as soon as you get back in power you are going to do the same things that Bush did, borrow and spend. No matter which party is in power the American people always loose out.

    February 27, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Independent Dave

    EZ February 27th, 2009 10:28 am ET


    I'm an over 50 white guy, and your absolutely right.

    February 27, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. M

    "My bad?" Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, you may end up losing the very base you are trying to rally. I am worried.

    February 27, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Dexter in Houston TX

    Republicans just don't get it...the American people understand what the nation is facing, why can't Republicans???

    God's light of truth continues to shine on the Republicans.

    DX in TX

    February 27, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. MizMD

    Wow….the hypocrisy and racism here is palpable.

    The scary reality is that the concept of keeping people victims is key for the Democrat party. The more people depend on government, the less they feel confidant enough to empower themselves, the more they’ll vote for the Democrat. It’s the sheep mentality. There is no dignity depending on someone else to wipe your butt. There is no power without victims. Obama has the power and obviously most of the posters here are the victims.

    “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Welfare lines are handing out fish. Do you want this to be you?

    February 27, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. FoCo

    I continue to be completely astounded at the ignorance and arrogance of the Rebulican Party. The party has been hijacked by extreme right wing politics and right wing evangelical beliefs. I was a republican for 30 years and have switched my affiliation to Democrat. 8 years of Bush/Cheney was more than I could stomache and after the complete crash of our banking system from greed of the wealthiest Americans it is more than time for a change to new ideas.

    The Obama administration might not make a perfect move with every move they make but I sincerely believe they are looking out for every american and truely want us all to succeed.

    I am 100% behind Obama and will be contributing financially to any opponent of a Reblican in the 2010 election.

    February 27, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Stephen

    I disagree with Steele. While I am not a socialist per se, I beleive that the bush policies got us into this economic mess. For one, the market forces alone odviously don't self regulate. Next, you cannot just focus on more wars and not focus on supporting your own people.

    Next, we need to do some of the things the stimulus package is going to be used for. One is the need to start weaning off the addiction to oil. This is because the world is starting to run short on it. If you don't beleive me, read the blogs by Matthew Simmons (who by the way is a republican and not an environmentalist), Richard Heinberg, Colin Campbell, James Howard Kunstler, and others. Next, millions of teachers lost their jobs with the recent budget crunch and the stimulus will put people back to work.

    What the republicans don't get is that they need to sometimes consider domestic, non-war related issues a priority and to act on them. The collapse of Bear Stearns and all the home foreclosures soaring should have been a warning sign that deregulating the banking industry was not working and that a disaster was in the works.

    February 27, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. The Bunk

    Michael Steele is a "BIG JOKE" , go sit down some where you fool!

    February 27, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. concerned Dem

    Mr. Steele saying that the Republican Party is just fine is like McCain saying the economy is stable....CLUELESS

    February 27, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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