July 31st, 2009
04:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Steele: 'I am not afraid to go into battle'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/18/art.getty.steele.rnc.jpg caption="RNC Chairman Michael Steele told RNC members Friday that he is 'not afraid to go into battle.'"]SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called on state GOP leaders Friday to roll up their sleeves and help rebuild the party voter-by-voter, warning them that the Obama White House is already looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election.

"Do you really think Rahm Emanuel is sitting back saying, 'Yeah, you know we got this,'" said Steele, a reference to the White House chief of staff who is known for his bare-knuckle approach to politics.

To compete politically, Steele said that GOP leaders need to embrace new media to spread the Republican message in their states, while engaging in weekend voter registration drives to help grow the party. In return, Steele promised to devote RNC resources to help build the state parties' infrastructure.

"We need to be prepared to move quickly to respond" to the Obama White House, Steele said to the RNC members meeting this week in San Diego.

Elected chairman in January, Steele's first few months as head of the RNC were dogged by controversy. He came under fire for not staffing up quickly enough, and was a lightning rod for critics who questioned some of his headline-grabbing public comments. But in the past few months, Steele seems to have quieted the critics.

The chairman was not scheduled to deliver a formal address at Friday's meeting, but he used the gathering as an opportunity to highlight the work the RNC is doing on everything from fundraising to responding rapidly to President Obama and congressional Democrats. And he pledged to continue challenging the president.

"I am not afraid to go into battle, and not afraid to take the shots that come my way," Steele said.

At the meeting, the RNC also passed several resolutions, including several that condemn Obama's approach to health care reform, cap and trade and use of "czars" to oversee critical issues. Republicans take issue with the use of policy czars because many of them have been appointed without congressional confirmation hearings, though Congress retains oversight authority over their decisions.

Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    More like "I'm not afraid to send others' kids in the battle to fight"
    Like all other chickenhawks.

    I know this is not a story about Iraq, but everything I said is still true.

    July 31, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. ender

    Ahhh the republican token opens his mouth and as usual says nothing of anuy real worth.

    They used Palin and threw her to the dogs when she didn't act as they wished. I wonder how many old white republicans cringe every time they see his image or hear his words.

    Come on republicans, tell me how you really feel about him. Tell us how it turns your stomach every time you hear him babble his foolish attempt at seeming "ghetto" and "conservative" at the same time.

    Its ok. I couldn't possilby think less of your collective.

    July 31, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    I was approached about becoming a Republican just the other day – quite frankly, I don't look good in those white sheets and the fire from the crosses makes a horrible smell.


    July 31, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-Reagan Republican

    FEAR, FEAR, FEAR..THAT'S ALL YOU HEAR from the NCR and the GOP! No wonder I left the Republican party!!!
    No ideas, no creativity, nothing to offer the American people! The sad thing is that the GOP used to be a great party, but it was destroyed by the extremist religious right.

    Mr. Steele you need to get the GOP back on track.

    July 31, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. Stephanie Baxter

    Thanks for fighting for the American people. The battle needs to be one. It is good men like you that encourage us. I will be praying for you.

    July 31, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. suzyku

    Just another right wing nut like most of them. He's been in so many unnecessary battles that it's affected what little brain power he has.

    July 31, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Donatella

    This man has lost his mind, nobody new will join this negative party, the republicans have shown their true colors, it is find if we are spending billions on Iraq and giving rich people tax cuts, but please don't try to help the american people. WE ARE ON TO YOU, ALL YOU CONSERVATIVES CARE ABOUT IS MONEY !!! . IF MCCAIN WERE ELECTED WE WOULD HAVE BREAD LINES AND PEOPLE LIVING IN TENTS. YOU CAN BATTLE ALL YOU WANT BUT IT WILL NOT WORK. YOU UNCLE TOM.

    July 31, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Steve

    I have received 3 letters askin g for donations which I have never received before. How much money have they raised in the 15 States they have been sending letters begging for money. Are any of 15 States in the South.
    Seems like an exercie in fruitlessly.

    July 31, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. ChicagoDB

    Go into battle Steele we will destroy you. Please
    Steele keep talking. The garbage you spew is a gift to us.

    July 31, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. MCD, SF, CA

    Has anybody told the Republicans that the election is over???? Notice that not one word about change within The Party was said. It is all "rah! rah!" ... we are better than them, we can raise more money, same old... same old.

    Nothing said about working together to fix all the ills the American People are facing. They will never be in power again until they understand that they have to put the American People BEFORE The Party!

    July 31, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. Tim, Seattle

    Michael Steele, biggest joke of all the GOP. Watch the puppet dance with the birthers and the black helicopter flat earth jesus crowd.

    July 31, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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