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. Well, now we have our black guy.....

    to go up against their black guy, which will neutralize the famous black caucus that runs everything.

    February 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. susanb

    The fact that the Republican party thinks that Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann and Ann Coulter are worthy of being featured speakers and moderators at this get together and that such people will bring them back to power is truly a horrific thought.

    However, it will just cause the Democrats to solidify their gains in the 2010 elections.

    This 63-year-old formerly Independent moderate – after 8 years of Bush/Rove/Cheney – 2 wars, torture, a devastated economy, gutting of regulations on financial institutions, corruption, fraud, cronyism, arrogance, politicization of the Justice Department and obscenely inefficient goverment action (Katrina, SEC/Madoff) , etc. etc. etc.

    has vowed to NEVER vote for another Republican EVER in my entire life.

    I recently changed my party affiliation to Democrat.

    I am repulsed by the Republicans except for a few intelligent sorts like Senators Snowe, Collins and Specter.

    Other than that... all I see is bitter partisanship, sniping, arrogance, stupidity. I can't bear to watch Eric Cantor smirk or Boehner pontificate or listen to Limbaugh say he hopes that President Obama fails. Or to watch the duo of McCain/Graham play their games and spout their outright lies.


    The Republicans almost destroyed this country over the past 8 years. Literally .... almost destroyed us.

    And they have the nerve to criticize what President Obama is trying to do to get this country back on the right track????


    February 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. Indie Tarheel

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

    Really? I'm surprised that the Clown Princess of Wackyland wasn't draped in bling and throwing gang signs. Good Lord, how much worse it THIS gonna get?

    February 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. TRUTH

    keep dreaming steele the gop is dead thanks to george bush/cheney DEMOCRATS rule the U.S .A

    February 27, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. lovable liberal

    No wonder they think the economy is fine. They're delusional.

    February 27, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. AEK

    To Jennfizz:

    Thank you! I reread your post a couple of times and then read it to the person with whom I share an office.

    February 27, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Augustine 25

    I think the last two years of complete Democrat control of Congress scared off investors and business people. The GDP dropped over 6% in the last quarter of 2008 on the news and reality of Obama's victory. Since big government spending has never worked in the past, I'm confident that the GOP candidates we recruit today will be running against Democrats who are responsible for creating a lot of economic pain.

    February 27, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. Wilson


    February 27, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. j

    I JUST LOVE IT !!!!!! If this were a Soap Opera,-- This would be taking place in the cardiac intensive care unit with Dr. Steele leaning over a body ( Repub) applying CPR hopeing for any sign of life---

    February 27, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. too funny

    What is this DUDE smokin??? It has to be some good stuff for him to believe this party is doing ok. LOL

    February 27, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. Darren D.

    Mr Steele, Bro, U and the Joker are like TV "Batman and Robin"!

    February 27, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. John Anthony

    Yes, and Hitler is still alive. C'mon, Steele-get with the program! Your party is sick, sick, sick.

    February 27, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. Michelle

    Why does Mr. Steele feel that using slang that plays into racial stereotypes will help his party communicate better with my generation? How about some substance for once? Stop pandering!

    February 27, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Grimm

    "My bad..." "You be da man"? They are really trying much to hard. Antiquated slang is not going to bring the GOP into the current century. Instead of adjusting its slang, the GOP should adjust its stance on key issues if it wishes to rise to power again. It would also do the GOP a world of good to hire better marketing and campaign personnel. Just a thought.

    February 27, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Big Loveman

    Steele could have been in Vaudeville as a song and dance man.

    February 27, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Kris D., Toronto

    Did the meeting end with a big YEEEEEEEAH BOYEEEEEE!?

    February 27, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. still hoping

    I believe in 4 years the people currently kissing obmama's butt on this blog every day will be thrilled to have a republican back in office.

    hopefully there will be enough time to fix what was broken by government, (especially clinton and the banking system, bush and the iraq war, and the just plain stupidity of carter), but even more so, the downright destruction of the us economy by the current absolute idiot in office.

    Never thought someone could make GWB look so good so fast.
    Thank you obama.

    February 27, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Obama 2.0

    As they ride on that great African river called De-Nile!

    February 27, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. EZ

    Hey Michael Steele...

    You're NOT da'man buddy! You are clearly the FOOL of month talking this "hip hop" garbage. WHO the hell do you think is buying this trash? The younger generation think you are WHACKED and the older generation are scratching their heads at your stupidity. Either way you are screwed buddy.

    Who talks like that at your age? Only an idiot talks and behaves in such a juvenile manner during a speech or public event. WHAT were you thinking? Ooops, my bad, you weren't thinking that's the problem.

    YOU are NO rapper, STOP trying to act like you are hip and cool because you're only making a FOOL out of yourself. Those WHITE RICH CRACKERS are laughing their heads off in the back room.

    GET A CLUE BROTHER..... you're nothing but a puppet on the RNC string!!!

    February 27, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. meh

    Wow. What a bunch of buffoons. Is Bachmann serious w. that remark? It comes off like Amos and Andy. Why can't the Republicans see this?

    February 27, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. america first

    steel surley you JEST!

    February 27, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. MikeH


    they're not finished trying.....

    February 27, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. meh

    still hoping> You think Obama makes GWB look good? Having you been visiting Crazyville or something?

    February 27, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Jackie

    Bling bling, off da hook rethugs. Sorry, my bad.

    February 27, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Sniffit

    Michele "McCarthy" Bachman is the embodiment of offensive.

    February 27, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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