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

Steele to CPAC: The Republican party is just fine

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/08/art.steelelogo0208.gi.jpg caption="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. tess

    read what the left writes and know that they are scared because this is exactly what the republican party has needed for a long time – a straight talking, no bull, black man! they think o;bama is their meshiah but that a black republican is an uncle tom – what hypocrites!

    February 26, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  2. msg

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

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

    Wow; You conservatives are sure off to a GREAT start.

    "You be da man"?

    Give me a break.

    The Republican party is not "just fine". "Just delluded" is more like it. They go on and on and on about whats being done wrong, and yet, they had a Conservative President for 8 years. All of this "stuff" didn't just happen January 20th. But to hear them talk it certainly seems like it.

    Heres a clue Republicans: Most Americans don't like you guys. And that was VERY apparent in this past election. Obama didn't just squeeze out a victory...He SOUNDLY defeated McCain. There was absolutely no doubt...and no need for a recount.

    Heres a bottom line for you guys...GET A CLUE. Most Americans don't share that same amount of wealth you guys have. Most of us don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars. And it's not because we're lazy or incompetant. We're hard working, decent people. We're just not the wealthiest 1%! So when you guys plan things, you have include us too. The NOT-AS-RICH-AS-YOU Americans. Until you can GET THAT...get comfortable sitting over there by yourselves trying to figure out a way to attract voters.

    Oh...and one more thing. If you're so against what you call the "out of control, porky spending bill"....if it's at all humanly possible and within the law: DON'T TAKE THE MONEY. Just let the people in your states continue to struggle until YOU can come up with better idea.

    February 26, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. Elly

    the republicans are beyond belief coming out every single day taking down President Obama on every issue he tries to improve that THEY CREATED!!!!
    Where were their loud boisterous voices when this mess was being created by the Bush Admin!!!!!!! Oh and that goes for the talking heads who take Obama down every day too like wind bag Rush and Coulter etc etc
    Do you think the american people are stupid!!!!!
    Change your tune and maybe just maybe your status will improve
    How in the name of God could any of you improve this mess when YOU are the ones responsible for it!!!!!!

    February 26, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  4. Chad

    Gimmicks are all they have.
    You know, I think this is down right f'ing sad. This country needs intelligent and thoughtful alternatives. Although I am a Democrat, a strong opposition with powerful ideas is a good thing. Where are the ideas here? What has become of our democracy???
    Forget bipartisanship. Do we really want these people to have a say in anything ???
    Ridiculous. This just makes me mad.

    February 26, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  5. gl, Pittsburgh

    First he want to be Hip Hop now da man. Set down you token!

    February 26, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  6. thomas

    The Grand Old Party is “alive and well” sounds a lot like "the economy is basically strong". Famous last words?

    February 26, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  7. sniffit

    GOPer ebonics? Someone please tell them that babbling dumb ideas in an inappropriate and mildly offensive gibberish mangling of the English language doesn't make the dumb ideas sound better...PLEASE!

    “the conservative movement must become a revolution,” and the goal “must be nothing less than the transformation of America.”
    Translation: Keep buying the guns y'all...we'll keep claiming it's about fear over the 2nd Amendment to cover you. See you at this weekend's pseudo-militia daycamp!

    February 26, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. arivera

    Most republicans that I know can't stand the party anymore and are leaning either libertarian or independent. You Mr. Steele continue to put nails in the coffin. Keep it coming, you're making it to easy for us.

    February 26, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  9. GrogInOhio

    What's astounding here is that Republicans are essentially saying, "we know we scammed you America, gives us a second chance and we won't scam you again.... trust us this time". Do they really think people are that stupid?

    February 26, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  10. GT

    If this man doesn't see the past election as a repudiation of conservative "principles", he's just as delusional as the former leader of their movement, George Bush.

    The GOP is regressive. Jindal and Palin are leading the march backwards, with Limbaugh providing support. These are the signs of things to come, but Steele probably doesn't see them either.

    February 26, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. elana

    So let me get this straight????? The GOP keep pushing us to believe that the Obama administration is bordering on socialism, and now Steele says their conservative movement MUST become a revolution??? So now I know – Mike Steele must be related to Fidel!! The Grand Ole Party as we once knew it is DEAD!!! Ronald Reagan would be completely ashamed of the behavior of ALL of these ignorant, self-serving, and selfish people!! An American Revolution????? HA

    February 26, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  12. AJ James

    Mr. Steele is the biggest idiot on the planet. If he thinks the red neck right is going to follow him, i have a bridge for sale. Where has all the fiscal conervatives been the last 8 years while Bush was in office. Were the hiding?

    February 26, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. 2010

    Michelle Bachmann saying "..be da man." That's hilarious. Yeah, the Republican Party is "off the hook, baby." lol

    These gimmicks keep getting more & more absurd.

    February 26, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  14. American Patriot

    Repukes should be banned from this country and deported. That would be "just fine" for true and loyal Americans!

    February 26, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  15. No Incumbents 2010

    The republican party will be fine if it stops trying to look like the democrat party to get elected. Move back to the right and give us a choice in 2012.

    February 26, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. GOP 106th in Park

    So is Flavor Flav hosting the GOP?

    February 26, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  17. Barbara; IL

    I am a registered Republican who voted Democrat in this election. As long as the GOP continues to pander to the far right I will not be supporting it. Most of the Republicans I know, including myself and my husband, and many of our friends and neighbors are more moderate in many of our beliefs. The party as it is organized now is not inclusive regardless of its new leadership and how it appears to be representing itself. I was not impressed with Bobby Jindal the other night. If he and Sarah Palin are the future of the party, I will not be supporting it.

    February 26, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  18. jae

    Michael Steele is an Obama wannabe. The Repugs are so pathethic. They are seriously in deep trouble. They should just be quiet for a while, and people may not realize how ignorant and inept they all are.

    They are stepping deeper and deeper in you know what?

    February 26, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  19. WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!

    This should be on Comedy Central!!!!! He needs his own show..Well guess what Sir??? "We're not buying anymore BS 2day...try again the year 3009


    February 26, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  20. It should have been Limbaugh

    Republican are like Cancer.

    February 26, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  21. aaa

    rethugs are gone your not fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  22. ex Illinois man, now a Pennsylvanian

    wow, i almost feel bad for steele and all the republicans. they have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE of the world today. this kind of behaviour is what is going to continue to kill them. If i were to advise republicans, i'd say start taking a more centrist approach to things. you don't need to energize ur base u already have it. try to get more centrists on ur side and even the gap between the number of democrats and republicans

    February 26, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. No Incumbents 2010

    What is wrong with our education system today? I sit and read and listen to the young generation and they somehow believe that Corporations started as Big Corporations. I always here that they are ruining Mom and Pop stores and hurting the little guy trying to make it. Do you not realize that at one time these corporations were the little guy? They excelled and became bigger with new and innovative ideas. It also scares me how many people truly believe the government owes them – healthcare, dental, homes, transportation and everything for life. That the rich should be punished for being rich and foot the bill for everything. I guess they do not realize that if everyone paid the same percentage the rich would already pay more, but it is even worse. The rich pay a higher percentage the more they make. So not only are they paying more they are paying alot more!
    What happened to personal responsibility? What happened to Pride?

    February 26, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  24. Kimberly in Azizona

    The idea that he thinks the republican party is FINE is what is frightening. Another thing that is frightening is that the republican party thinks this guy is going to help them...First palin, then him, then jindal, all complete JOKES! I hope the gop continues on this track, its the best thing they do for the Democrats...I LOVE THIS!!!!

    February 26, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  25. TheTruthHurts

    The libertarian wing of the Republican party has always been a wing. They are not the mainstream. They have no coalition. They don't even have proposals. All they want is for government to back off. That is not a strategy people are wanting to hear as this crisis deepens.

    As the crisis is no longer "that guy" and becomes "my neighbor," "my sister" and then "ME," such disinterested rhetoric will fall on increasing deaf ears.

    February 26, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
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