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. John

    "Don't underestimate the power of the dark side"

    – Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker in "The Empire Strikes Back."

    February 27, 2009 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  2. JOE

    I will believe it when thr FBI arrests BUSH,CHENEY,RICE and RUMSFELD..For war crimes and crimes against this country...CHENEY has a arrest warrant out for him in Vermont, and RUMDUM has an INTERPOL arrest warrant out for him...They all can be arrested under the RICO Act for organized crime activity..

    BUSH, is sitting on his porch in Dallas sucking on his Jim Beam bottle.CHENEY, is sitting in his 8 by 10 foot office in Washington with one thumb in his mouth and the other up his butt and he switches positions every five minutes..

    February 27, 2009 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  3. Marty

    Did he just say the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, 34k+ Americans dead or injured, 5 trillion in national debt, the repeal of american civil liberties, torture and lying are "His bad"?

    February 27, 2009 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  4. JOE


    February 27, 2009 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  5. JOE

    It would be better to have TERMINAL CANCER than to be a REPUBLICAN...

    February 27, 2009 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  6. Firechick907

    The Republican Party needs to use this time to motivate its members. Steele is the right person for the job. His speech was very good and he highlighted the Republican principles; limited government, etc.
    I love how that CNN reported that he "attacked" the President when all he did was state his opposing view. Man, I have been "attacked" a lot lately then! Anyways, after the next four years, Americans will see that the larger the government gets, the less freedoms they have, and the Republican Party will once again rise!

    February 27, 2009 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  7. thomas

    Doesn't the Republican party have any intelligent seasoned veterans to spotlight? Why do they keep wheeling out the backwoods wackos claiming they are the new faces of the Republican party? If this is what they have to offer, a stop by the surgeon's office might be in order.

    February 27, 2009 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  8. You be da man

    Michael Steele Standing There looking like Cheshire Cat ...but You be da man!......My ? is Y do you honestly think you are the Head Nig__ in charge ...well you are nothing more than a House NIg__YOU be da man......If you crew up they will be on your A$$ like flies on Sh_t

    February 27, 2009 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  9. George

    "Floyd" – I cant stand the phony republican and Im over 40. And I suppose you think that everyone who voted for Obama must be under 40?

    What did you come up with that yourself or did you have a team of monkeys help you out?

    Thanks for playing ... You lost. Deal with it!

    February 27, 2009 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  10. Firechick907

    I have read many posts on here and there is a lot of anger towards the Republican Party. I don't pretend to know much but here is what I do know....
    This mess was started during the Clinton Era when the Banks were told to make loans to people who couldn't afford it. By the time Bush became President, the affects of this was not evident. It took some time for people to realize that they couldn't afford the loans they had taken out. So far, 95-98% of people are current on thier loans. But those that were bad scared the banks into tighter lending procedures. When people found out that they couldn't get credit and loans, they paniced and stopped spending which caused the market to drop. And it doesn't help every time President Obama gives a speech. Yes, people are loosing thier jobs, but this is not as bad as you think it is. But if we keep spending money we don't have, this is going to get a lot worse.

    February 27, 2009 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  11. Jennfizz


    My good friend finally made good her escape to another city following years of being the recepient of domestic abuse from an ignorant, insensitive, stingy, impotent, self-centered swine.

    Arrogance did not allow him to see what was happening right under his nose as her sister and I helped her pack up the kitchen...I recall wishing I could be a fly on the wall on Friday evening when he returned to an echoing house.

    The victim's sister later relayed the drama that included much weeping and gnashing of teeth – "why did she leave me...what did I do...I want her to come back home...bla, bla, bla..." Responding very superficially when the dust settled, he diminished any level of culpability on his part, thus, never truly accepted responsibility for the disintegration of the union.

    Having abused her for so long, HE SEEMED NOT TO HAVE A CLUE WHY SHE LEFT HIM – That she had grown tired of having the life leeched out of her while getting nothing in return...Like an open grave, he only took...life was all about him...his needs and wants.

    I recall thinking... "IF HE REALLY HASN'T FIGURED OUT WHY SHE LEFT HIM, SHE WOULD BE A FOOL TO GO BACK (for more of the same)!"

    February 27, 2009 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  12. my bad Shaft, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    keep on keeping on my man, you are too cool for school

    down goes the GOP

    February 27, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. Laverne

    Umm, Mr. Steele who can you fix your mouth to say republican conservative values are right for America when America REJECTED that philosophy on Nov. 4th! Michael Steele you are perfect for the rethugs, you are in just as much denial.

    February 27, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. Enough

    Go away Steele. You will never be the republican party's answer for President Obama. Just like the failed attempt to push Palin out front to attrack Hilary's supporters. When you guys come to the table with a comprehensiveanswer for today's issue....then you can speak to me. Until then, the republican party is nothing more than hot air and a JOKE.

    February 27, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Big Ed

    You just keep saying that to yourself often enough, you just might come to believe it!

    February 27, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. mulu

    NO new Idea and Vision for the new World Order
    you GOP =Get Out of Politices.


    February 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. carlo

    I'll bet the RNC is weeping and gnashing teeth now. They tried to add diversity to their party by pushing Steele and Jindal out there, but now they look even whiter and goofier than ever.

    February 27, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Pepou

    Yeah it's fine. It's the laughing stock of the country with Palin, Jindal and Steele showing up at a theatre near you. Delusional is a word they never heard about.

    February 27, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. carol

    The party may still be alive, but it is definitely not well!

    February 27, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. Azzaro

    Michael Steele must as well apply for kkk membership while out there

    February 27, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. john pinter

    exactly whats wrong with the republicans. all are in denial. all take their talking points from Rush. All have Sean H. attitude. Only the Dems can screw this up for not governing for the next 25 years, and give their competence, they probably will.

    February 27, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. rugger 86

    Firechick, at least you admit you don't know much. But let's stop with the old myth that Clinton and CRA caused this mess. First off, CRA did not have the ability to force any bank to make a bad loan. Secondly, the majority of loans that deafulted came from mtge cos and other institutions that weren't even regulated by CRA.

    The cause was more than anything greed among the investment banks, and people who thought they could buy more home than they shoud have been able afford. And the regulatory and rating agencies did nothing.

    February 27, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Oregon

    The GOP is a circus run by clowns

    Not only are the Repugs the party of "NO", they apparently are th party of DENIAL.

    Ha! Go Obama! We're behind you 100%

    February 27, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Think about it.

    "My bad." That was the best excuse Republicans could give for the past eight years?


    February 27, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. Sheryl

    I just don't know what to say!!!! They are killing their party!!! WOOOHOO!!!

    February 27, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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