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. markens

    gop, come back after 2012 or 2080, when the country is better off.

    February 26, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. Sojourner2008

    **As Steele concluded his remarks, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann — the evening’s moderator — told Steele he was “da man.”

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

    In the words of Aretha "Chain . . . Chain . . .Chain . . Chain of Fools!"

    February 26, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. yep

    "my bad" seriously?!
    GOP is FAIL

    February 26, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. proud army navy mom

    "Steele" an idiot

    February 26, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  5. Joy

    Wow how ignorant is that? You be da man? What the heck? Sounds to me like a bunch of idiots. Do they really think blacks and latinos are that stupid? They surely are making fools out of themselves. The rappers are laughing at them. They are not going to fall for the gimmicks and soon they are going to start calling them on it. Just watch how Nas comes out attacking and put them right back into place. Stupid.

    February 26, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. Cathy

    Michael Steele, Bobby "Mr. Rogers" Jindal, and Sarah Palin are all being used by the Grumpy, Old, Republican Party.

    February 26, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  7. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    That's right all you Republicans need to keep Beleiving that and every thing will be okay for the demacratic party for decades to come.

    February 26, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  8. Jaime

    These people should stop smoking weed.

    February 26, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. Di

    Republicans will be elected, only if they get back to their core conservative values and principles.

    February 26, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. ED

    You bet the Republican Party is just fine! Obama won by just 7% of the vote - that is NOT a mandate by any stretch of the imagination - and HE KNOWS IT.

    The tide will shortly change. Americans understand Obama's "welfare agenda" - and they won't take it much longer!!!!!!!!!!!!

    COUNT ON IT!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    "Michael Steele you be da man"!! So I guess now the GOP thinks diversity means you talk like you're from "DA HOOD"!! I am trying to get admiration for the GOP at attempting some sort of diversity, but
    Micheal Steele with his "off the hook" hip-hop antics to me is no better than Mantan Moreland or Stephen Fletchit. I think that President Obama and his wife set a better example for young African Amercans who want to growup in the mainstream of being educated than both Keyes and Steele are putting out there.

    February 26, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. Obama - NOPE

    Hurry 2010 ! Hurry, please hurry.

    February 26, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. Byron

    The republican party these guys speak of is that of Michelle Bachmann... scary.

    February 26, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  14. Chad

    Mr. Steele,

    “I am here tonight to reject the idea that defeats of the past are a repudiation of core conservative values and principles..." What else is a defeat saying to you? That we loved your ideas, just not your suite? If the American people would have thought that you could have helped they would have voted GOP! As long as you let the far right run your party I won't vote for you. Come closer to the center and we will talk.

    The offer is on the table.



    February 26, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  15. Winston Smith

    Michael Steele and Michelle Bachman.
    What an anti-intellectual duo.
    Perfect for the current GOP Party...oops...I mean...cult.

    February 26, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    He's clearly delusional ... the Republican Party ... the blind being led by the blind.

    February 26, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. Proud American

    I agree, they are fine stupid Idiots.

    February 26, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  18. Chad

    By the way...I am tired of hearing Republicans say that Dems of the past caused this crisis(Carter, Clinton anybody?). Really? Do some research...the GOP has been in power roughly 20 years to the Dems. roughly 13 years (I was born in 1979). Since I have been alive you have been running the show. You are not going to convince me that Dems. have done more harm in 13 than the Reps. did in 20. If you couldn't fix these "major problems" the Dems caused in those extra 7 years you had (almost two terms!) then your ideas aren't just out of touch, you are incompetent!

    February 26, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. whotoo

    Does he really knows what fine is? LoL

    February 26, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. Joe the carpenter

    "The republican party is just fine" Right!

    An interesting couple of camera shots during Obamas speech on Tuesday. Both were close-ups, one was of Mitch McConnel and the other McCain, in each case Pres. Obama had just made a point and in each instance both McConnel and McCain leaned to their right and spoke out of the side of their mouth to the person sitting next to them, then got up and did the 'token gesture' clap. I never could trust anyone who talks out of the side of their mouth. Still 'Old boys' doing the same old thing, those guys would stab anyone in the back to retain their positions, even the entire country. Those are the only traditional Republican values I am aware of.

    February 26, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. Mark Ferbet

    The problem is, the majority of Americans don't believe that the Conservative Platform is right for this country. Yes, we all think pieces of it are fine, but unless the Grand OLD party can come to the middle, and except that the majority of Americans don't agree with them, then they will become like the dinosaurs....

    Of course, a small group of Conservatives don't believe in Dinosaurs... so... what can else can be said about them....

    Moderates will rule the day.... and the Republican Party is running off the Moderates....

    February 26, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. Barbara Campbell

    These are the same neocons who rubberstamped everything Bush/Cheney/Rove wanted, and they are equally responsible for the mess America is in. Only the rhetoric has changed. "My bad" indeed.

    February 26, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  23. JPM

    Once, when I was in a car accident, I totalled my car. It was my fault. I was driving too fast. But despite that , a good semaritan stopped and helped me. He called the ambulance, he called my husband. My car was totalled, but I escaped injury.

    What did I do – I THANKED HIM FOR TRYING TO HELP ME GET OUT OF THE MESS I CREATED! Instead of insulting him, telling him is ideas are no good, I wish the Republican Party would know the word: HUMBLE.

    February 26, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  24. Scott

    Alright, the Republicans swelled heads has finally become swelled brains. Da Man ain't goin' to get the real republicans...what the heck do they think their doing? I am certain that most midwest folks are disgusted or confused by this dude

    February 26, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. Charles from Atlanta

    Obama's proposed "smart government", "government works for people". GOP still tries to promote old "limited government" which means "do-nothing" government. Then it is hard to explain to American people why they let Bush double the national debt to 11 trillions and have two wars without supervision from congress. Well, I guess they can all blame Democrats.

    February 26, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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