June 9th, 2009
01:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Steele urges GOP to stress fiscal discipline

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/09/art.steele.0609.gi.jpg caption="epublican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans, while highlighting the party's ideology of fiscal discipline.

Steele made the request Tuesday to all 168 RNC members as well as the GOP congressional leadership in a memo obtained by CNN.

On the economy, Steele takes aim at Obama's decision to use federal dollars as a lifeline to help save the automotive and financial industries.

"Republicans should continue to demand answers from the Administration about when they plan on returning companies to the private sector and getting them off of the public dole," Steele writes in the memo.

The RNC chairman also chastises Obama and Democrats on their plan to overhaul the nation's health care system. He tells his fellow Republicans to "[a]dvocate for health care reform while opposing efforts by President Obama and Congressional Democrats to force Americans into a government-run health care system."

Steele advises the party to "continue to stand for fiscal responsibility."

This is one of the first times that Steele has looked to use his position as RNC chair to influence the policy direction of the party.

"Chairman Steele was serious when he said that Republicans will be unified in taking on President Obama and the Democrats for their big-government, overreaching policies that are moving our country in the wrong direction," a Steele advisor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells CNN.

Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • President Obama
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Kelby In Houston, TX

    They stress fiscal discipline, however their policies do not reflect fiscal discipline. And the idea of fiscal discipline is at odds with their disdain of fiscal regulation. Fiscal discipline requires fiscal regulation...ya know, so things don't get out have hand...like it did with Bush.
    Oh! and did Steele clear his statements with the De Facto Leader of the GOP? 😉 You know who I am talking about!

    June 9, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Jason Dowdle

    Party of fiscal discipline? Let's see. Eight years. 5 trillion dollars added to the national debt. No Republican program to expensive. Two wars, one entirely voluntary, both botched to the tune of another trillion dollars. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Does anyone actually believe these liars anymore?

    June 9, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Ken in NY

    Just in case Steele is listening, 10 banks are repaying taxpayers money and getting off Federal 'dole' as he puts it. Any question that if money had not been extened to these vital industrys of America there would be more average citizens on the walfare, unemployment 'dole' right now?

    I use to be a republican before they became the party of 'NO'

    June 9, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Jilli

    "Steele advises the party to "continue to stand for fiscal responsibility."

    Really? Their record on fiscal responsibility is a joke – they're all talk and no action. Their initiative rings hollow with me. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the last republican admin will hit us for many years to come.

    June 9, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Mississippi Mike

    No matter how fiscally irresponsible the GOP's been in the past, they've never been anywhere near as reckless as Obama and the Democrats. The only thing Obama's done that's notable since getting into office is his record-breaking spending. The GOP may be the party of "no" but for the Dems to be the party of "yes" when it comes to throwing away taxpayer money, they are really hurting themselves.

    June 9, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Matt

    Correction Mr. Steele, TARP was Bush's idea. It was Obama's idea to use restraint in the way the money was handled, instead of a blank check.

    June 9, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. tigerakabj

    Michael, do you think America is stupid? Oh wait, yes you do. You almost gave us Sarah Palin.

    But seriously, don't start preaching about fiscal discipline after Bush doubled the national debt more than all 42 presidents combined (including Reagan and Bush 1). And even then, he spent it all on tax cuts for the rich, the wars, his/Cheney's cronies, Military Industrial Complex, etc. The other 98% of Americans didn't benefit not one iota.

    Obama is cutting 2 trillion over the next decade (and that's just the start), going to provide universal healthcare (like all other industrialized nations, which will also relieve the burden off our businesses and individuals), revamping our infrastructure, etc.

    Mr. Steele, America is not stupid. Tell your leader Rush Limbaugh to keep up the good work. I want to see the Independents become a party or maybe the Libertarians gain traction. And one more thing, tell Colonel Cheney and his sidekick family to keep up the pro-torture tour(breaking the Geneva Convention international law). I just love seeing him incriminate himself as well as your entire party.

    June 9, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. felicia

    I can't believe steele is talking i don't even think he was invited to the party last night. And he talking smack. Wow!

    June 9, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Jim

    Steele urges GOP to stress fiscal discipline...the same way they did when Bush was president.

    June 9, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Lori, Houston Texas

    If Michael Steele thinks he has all the answers, he should run for office in 2012. After getting permission from Rush, of course.

    Does Mike Steele pay for his own health insurance? Or is he still sucking off the teat of taxpayers on this? Will the Republicans be willing to give up their taxpayer funded health coverage in order to share the same American experience as the rest of us -finding an affordable insurance plan that best fits their familes? Can they find a plan that works well for average folks who make less than $40K/yr? That actually pays when needed? That doesn't requires hours on the phone fighting with them to pay for what your doctor ordered? That doesn't leave his family in bankruptcy before he dies?

    If money is no object, anyone can get coverage. Our issue is we need affordable coverage that PAYS when an emergent situation occurs. Let's fact it. Insurance companies are here to make money, not help the sick get well. There is no room in the health care industry for profit. Let people who want elective surgery like a nose job or breast enhancement pay dearly for the privilige. Those buying viagra can do the same. Increase costs on elective care patients to help pay for care the working poor needs to live and keep working.

    Those who need real medical help to live should not have to provide profits for parasitic insurance companies.




    June 9, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. ghost

    Man, he almost has it right....almost.

    I think it is good to have congress checking up on how these things are going.

    But he lost it with the health care bill. If he didn't add the made up part about forcing people into govt run system, he'd be on point.

    Keep trying, Mikey. Maybe by 3012, you'll get it right.

    June 9, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Gary

    It's hard for Republicans to complain about Obama when they spent too much money themselves.

    I have to admit Obama has accelerated the deficit spending and none of us want are taxes to go up, so if the Repubs are serious about cutting taxes, they will get my vote.


    June 9, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. JonDie

    Mr. Steele, you are funnier than Chris Rock or Tiny Fey, maybe even funnier than Rush Limbaugh.

    The Republican policy of not regulating Wall Street along coupled with unbridled corpoerate greed led to the collapse of the banking system and Wall Street.

    And the Republican policy of declaring the US to be in a permanent state of undeclared war for the benefit of large corporations but with no funds in the Treasury to pay for the war meant the Treasury simply printed money, credited debt, and gave the money to corporate contractors without bids oversight while the taxpayer got stuck with nothing but debt.

    June 9, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Hey GOP, for the record, how can you stress fiscal discipline if your own team don't even know how to tackle? LOL!!! 🙂

    That's like saying, "Come on guys! If we just play tougher, we'll have the results!" And if you wanna have an idea where you heading, just look at the Lions, LOL!!! 🙂


    June 9, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Billy Ray Valentine -- Capricorn

    This would have been effective, let's say 6-7 years ago.

    June 9, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. big papa

    America will:

    ...Bury the moribund Republican Party and its bankrupting, evil, conservative ideology...

    ...spending isn't your problem Republicans/conservatives/confederates...

    ...its your hatred of everything non-white (in spite of your token Chairman with ZERO power)...

    ...the country and the world SEE you for what you are...

    ...mindless, racist, intellectually and morally bankrupt Jon Voights, Sarah Palins, Rush limbaughs, Dick Cheneys and GW Bushs...

    ...We don't want your brand of national suicide by divisiveness...

    June 9, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. SlowGun

    "WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans, while highlighting the party's ideology of fiscal discipline."

    yup...I'm all for it...but clearly this is just an ideology and not something they actually practiced when they had the power to do so over the last 8 years. Lets start with telling Palin to give back the money for the bridge to nowhere, which didn't get built...but she still has the money. I also think that including to cost of the unneed invasion and war in Iraq is a good start...why didn't the fiscal discipline Republican in the white house not included this in the federal budget?....because they don't practice what they preach!

    June 9, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Once You Vote Black: Mute Newt

    I have changed my mind. I now wish the GOP well. They have been slipping and slidding so much that I now hope they will get off of their knees. I will now change my Name back to Get Well Soon GOP. At this point you guys deserve a break. Everything you have touched has turned to dust. Come on GOP, you can do it. The nation is stronger with a GOP that does better then you have been doing. We need you. At least you are loyal not like that PUMA PAC.

    June 9, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. JDFrakes

    Fiscal responsibility was once a primary pillar of the GOP philosophy. Now it's an empty suggestion falling on deaf ears.

    June 9, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Michael

    Steele says "stress fiscal discipline". Wait a minute, they were in charge when Reagan doubled the national debt. Clinton came along and had surpluses. And they were in charge again for all but two years when Bush took Clinton's surplus and ran it into the first trillion dollar deficit. When will real people, not the rich and the bigoted, understand that the GOP talks fiscal responsibility to try and get a vote but NEVER have they practiced it when they succeeded and won? Unbelievable that Americans can be conned over and over by the same con artists playing the same game.

    June 9, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Sick -n- Tired

    Ok Mr. Steele, we get it, you don't have to keep showing us all how well your foot fits in your mouth!

    June 9, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Lisa B

    Why are the Republicans still campaigning? Do they not know the election is over. Better yet, why are they WHINING????? Oh, wait a minute, wasn't it a republican that said, the nation is a bunch of whiners. One thing I can say, he was definitely speaking for his party.

    June 9, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Perusing-Through

    What fiscal discipline? Do you mean the same fiscal discipline practiced by hypocritical republicans the past 8-years? Do you mean the same fiscal discipline that witnessed no-bid contracts handed out to companies like KBR, who built showers that electrocuted good honorable soldiers in Iraq?

    June 9, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. J.P.

    Big-spending, Democrat-lite RINOs need not apply to be on the ballot next spring for the primaries.

    If "republicans" still don't understand WHY they lost their hat, coat and posterior in the 2006 midterms, let CONSERVATIVE voters remind them.

    Spendaholic "republicans" under Bush spent so much, they are an embarrassment to their party. Their spending is THEEEEE reason why conservatives punished them in 2006.

    RINO republicans, look, if I wanted to vote for a big-spending liberal, I'd vote for the Democrat already on the ballot. I don't need someone from my own party OUTSPENDING Democrats.

    2010 sounds the electoral death knell for big government RINO republicans. Pack your bags now fellas, because we won't be asking you back.

    June 9, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Big Ed

    Hey,...uhm...Mr. Steele...you are about 8 years too late...I like your idea...you guys had the ball and fumled. It's going to take ALL of us to fix what Mr. Bush let fall on us. Here's an idea...quit all the sniping and Limbaugh-kissing and do the work everyone was elected to do!

    June 9, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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