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. Patrick M

    How can Rushpublicans talk about fiscal discipline when the economy is in deep trouble like this? I've learned in my macroeconomics course that the federal government can intervene in the economy in order to establish the equilibrium. This is exactly what the Obama administration is doing.

    Patrick M.

    June 9, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Shari, NY

    No Mr. Steele, America was moving in the wrong direction for a few years. This administration is trying to make a U-Turn but those darn big, gas guzzling, smoke spouting rigs are in the way and you know how hard it is to drive under those conditions.

    June 9, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Allen, Houston

    What fical discipline? After eight years of record deficits, and unnecessary war, the GOP have no credibility on fiscal responsibility. And what did we get for that record deficits? A bloated economy whose bubbles finally busted. Our beloved Prez is only in office for less than six months and he already cleaned up some of the mess the last stupid administration created, yet, he still has a lot more to clean up. Now all of a sudden, The GOP and Micheal Steele now have finally learned the virtues of fiscal discipline. Bah!!!!!!

    June 9, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. GOP says If your a muslim your a terrorist. The End!

    So what this translates to is "even if President Obama and the Democrats have good ideas I want you to oppose them because if they help the American people we will never ever rise to power again."

    But hey, the Republicans were moving us in the right direction when they were in power, right? A good example of that would be to look at the mess we are in now.

    Sorry, I don't buy from the same car salesman that sold me a lemon the last time.

    June 9, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Alex in Wisconsin

    I have missed Michael Steele in the news. This man reads talking points with the best of the GOP. The deficiency of Analytical Abilities and the complete lack of Problem Solving skills demonstrated makes it clear who would benefit the most from increased Educational standards. Once again, I must ask, where is the alternative plans? how does the GOP plan to cut spending while making health care more cost efficient and raising the standard of education? I might pay attention to the GOP if they recognize that cutting from the Military is an acceptable way to decrease spending in Washington. No point in having the Shiny Armor around the nation if the country rots from the inside and gets stupider in the process.

    June 9, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Neel

    This is truly sad... to blame a president that has been in office for 6 months. I'm no economist, but it seems that our problems are twofold- a cash flow problem and a confidence problem. Regular people are afraid to spend right now so the only choice we have is to inject money into the economic system via the government. Sadly, we have been funding a misguided war for the past 8 years that has eaten up any former surpluses and added to a growing deficit. In addition, the former administration's lack of oversight lead to a massive banking crisis which, by any credible economist's analyses, required another injection of capital into the said banks. Unfortunately, our confidence problem has precluded any possibility of private investment, thus pushing the Obama administration to come up with the cash. The current administration has been put in a catch 22 situation and unfortunately the "loyal opposition" is capitalizing off of their own past mistakes. America, please take a minute to read past the headlines and delve deeper into our current economic crisis.

    June 9, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Tim, Seattle

    Funny. None and I mean NONE of the GOP attacks have worked on Obama. Not one.
    Psssst.....hey GOP...no what might work? An Alternative PLAN!

    Perhaps if the GOP came up with an actual plan or ideas........someone might give a hoot. Want less spending? Fine...what programs will get cut? WHat industries will we let fail? 'No' is not a plan, conservatives.

    Pining for the Reagan days is ineffectual and obsolete.

    June 9, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Esco

    The republicans are still trying to gain the spotlight in news everyday after their 8 year fiasco? Honestly, instead of helping get things done, they are having these meaningless meetings about what Obama is doing wrong instead of introducing new ideas. That's why Obama is not responding to them anymore, because they are so uptight and arrogant to do anything but rant and cry about what they want done. So republicans, keep attacking your own fellow american and show your pride...because that is all you are good at.

    I understand the democrats did jab at republicans when Bush was president, but the repub's have taken this to new low's. After attacking Obama's family, all the trash talking and photos, digging up his history they still cannot put a dent on Obama.

    That is a blessed man to say the least...and the power of God is shown on Obama. Just like the prohpets from long ago, the wicked will attack the good with words of hate and spread lies about how he is the Anti-Christ and how Obama is ruining our country. If anyone reads the bible, and i hope you all are, the Anti-Christ will come but i can honestly tell you its not Obama.

    Just for good measures, i hope you can see how the devil instills fear in people by killing in churches, and spreading lies thoughout our nation/world. That is what the devil is, a liar!!

    June 9, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Lynn

    Steele is sooo jealous of Obama it is palatable. He is not, nor will he ever be a Barack Obama. He doesn't have the class, intelligence, character or charisma.

    June 9, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Mel of Alexandria

    Yes, we do need fiscal discipline, but the Republicans have not shown such since President Regan gave us Voodoo Economics.The masters of "do as I say, but do not do as we do". Bare-faced HYPOCRITES!!!!!

    June 9, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Texan for Progression

    Fiscal discipline...is this all Steele can bring to the table??? What republican isn't for "fiscal discipline" (term used loosely). One thing's for certain...Steele's repetitive babbling confirms that he's amply qualified to chair the RNC.

    June 9, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Joanna

    Steele, nobody wanted this horrible economic crisis. Bush and company dropped the ball with there do nothing government style. The stimulus is WORKING. Job loss has decreased. The market seems to be stabilizing. We are still way far away from total recovery, but at least the downward spiral has slowed. Jeez, if the GOP were in nothing would have been done at all. Things would have been a whole lot worse. Many economist thought the stim should have been 3x what it was. OH, BTW... The dems never thought Obama was the magic fix/(messiah ) to all our issues. That was rhetoric by the GOP. But he was the BEST choice for our country.
    America is on the verge of being obsolete, Major change is need to get back to where we were. FYI only 53% of our people go to college??? We are ranked extremely low on health care, education ect. Why is the GOP fighting so hard to stay at the bottom?

    June 9, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    I don't mind the GOP asking questions about what the President is offering, but at least come up with some new counter ideas to present to the public as well. Just saying "NO" and offering tax cuts for wealthy people as a solution is not going to cut it. You would think they would have learned this by now.

    June 9, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Jim

    The GOP advocating for fiscal discipline is like Bristol Palin advocating for abstinence.

    June 9, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Shouldn't the Republican's practice fisical disipline themselves first? They always preach about it, but fall apart on the follow through.

    June 9, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Six months of bad talking the President, but the Repubicans still having came up with an alternative. Lets just scream months after months that the President policies are wrong and see if we can convince the American the Repubicans are more fiscal disciplined.

    Not after 8 years of Bush. Sorry Repubicans scream all you want the American People are on to you jokers.

    June 9, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Big-K(DC)

    Okay, so what is the Republican plan? Just as I thought,absolutely nothing, just remember, keep winning and the base will be energize whats left of the base.

    June 9, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Matt

    to Matthew. I have one simple questions for you. If you eliminate all the illegals from California, how much in saving would they realize? Do they have any regulations about how long they can sdtay on Wlefare? Any state can get rid of or modify 90% of the entitlement programs and get themselves out of the mess that they are currently in.

    June 9, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. pam Eugene OR

    This is so typical of the Republicans. They do not want average Americans to have basic needs like health insurance but they scream to high heaven to spend billions on an outed dated missile defense system.
    As long as we do not diminish our capacity to make war they do not care if Americans have to send their children to bed hungry or go without medical attention.
    Where was their restraint in spending in the last eight years.
    President Obama is not perfect but he is better then anything the Republicans have to offer.
    I will never vote for a Republican again.

    June 9, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Jeff

    You may want Republicans to stress fiscal discipline but your party has proven that if you get power you spend like a bunch of drunken sailors. We won't get fooled again...or at least I won't.

    June 9, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Neilz

    Steele's got a new speech writer. But where are the pagans? You can't speak republican without mentioning pagans. And conspiracy. Where's the conspiracy? And seriousness about unity? How can you be serious about unity when you ignore the pagans conspiring to usurp the constitution from the Righteous and Anointed by God? Where's the Army of God? I want them to take a serious look at Mr. Steele. I think he's straying from the path. A couple of warning shots, an acid attack, that'll get him back in the fold. Praise the Lord!

    June 9, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Funny that when Republicans run for office they preach fiscal responsibility. Once in office they spend like drunken sailors and create huge deficits. Then when kicked out, they scream about tax increases, which is the only solution to fix what they have done, and again preach fiscal responsibility. This cycle has repeated over and over in the last 40 years....except the hate mongering, and fear mongering from the religious right increases with each passing day....

    June 9, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. voter

    where was the concern of fiscal responsibility for the past eight years? it astonishing how the same people who are screaming fiscal responsibility was spending uncontrollably for eight years and ran up the defecit. I gather that it is okay to spend money and increase the defecit if the rich can receive tax breaks. We cannot spend money to create jobs and provide healthcare for the uninsure because it is not fiscally responsible. give me a break. republicans reak of hypocricy.

    June 9, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Craig- Easton, PA

    Fiscal discipline could be a winning issue if the Repub Party actually came up with more efficient and les wasteful ways to deal with the problems of the country. But it seems the only problems they will even acknowledge are things military. Find a better way to improve education, the environment, energy dependence, poverty, lack of family susteaining jobs, etc. and you'd have something there. It's pretty darn simple to reduce spending if you take no responsibility for anything.

    June 9, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Joman

    If it weren't for the economic disaster the GOP so brilliantly fostered, Obama would not have to do what he has done, and thus, the GOP would not have anything to rail against. And without anything to rail against – the Republicans have nothing to prevent a further slide into irrelevancy.

    Steele's directive is the ultimate in hypocritical denial with a single objective – winning back power. But for what purpose? For what public good? When has the GOP EVER delivered for the public good?

    Oh yeah, I forgot – they can't. That would be socialism, or worse, communism. But unfettered, greedy pigs at the trough and our wallets – now that's the American Way.

    What planet do these people live on?

    June 9, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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