October 21st, 2009
10:58 AM ET
13 years ago

Steele 'not really' concerned about declining GOP support

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/16/art.steele0915.gi.jpg caption="Michael Steele said he's not worried that only 20 percent of Americans describe themselves as Republicans."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday brushed off a new poll that indicates just 20 percent of the American public are willing to call themselves Republicans.

Questioned on whether he's concerned about the new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Steele responded: "Not really."

"What I'm concerned about is how they vote," he said on CNN's "The Situation Room." Steele insisted that "at end of the day you can call yourself whatever you want" - as long voters ultimately choose candidates who favor small government, business-friendly policies.

"That's at the end of the day where I'm focused as a party chairman," he continued. "On delivering candidates and delivering a message that empowers people and lisfts them up, not puts the government in front of them as the president and Democrats in congress are doing now."

With Election Day just two weeks away, Steele hedged when asked to make a prediction in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races. "I love the feel of a win, my friend," he declared, before adding a qualifier: "But I'm the chairman. What do you expect?"

Republicans have a decisive lead in Virginia, but the picture is less clear in New Jersey.

"I feel good about where we are right now with both of these races," he said. "We have a lot of work to do. We're ahead slightly, you know how these things can go. But as a national chairman, I feel good about a win."

Filed under: Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    How does opposing programs for children and the poor, opposing universal health care, opposing welfare, opposing money for schools, opposing all taxes, do anything to "lift people up and empower them?" All those policies do is let the rich get richer on the backs of the poor. And that is why the Republican base is shrinking, because true Republicans
    are religious and care about others. Not the nutty evangelicals like Palin, but the mainstream Republicans.

    October 20, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Go Michael Steele

    Hey, I'm a Dem, i love his idiotic leadership!

    October 20, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Victim of Democratic greed

    Most of us would rather be considered Independents. Democrats are way too tax and spend. Republicans are way too Conservative. The country is more Center Right and we really need a new party that will actually represent the Majority of the people. Until that happens, the only way to vote is Republican. I work too hard to be a Democrat.

    October 20, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Terry from West Texas

    The Republican Party's only goal is to prevent the nation from solving any of its problems. There are very muscular and very wealthy interest groups that don't want things to change. CEOs don't want CEO salary to change, no matter how much the nation may be damaged. Insurance companies don't want the health care delivery system changed no matter how many people are sick as a result. Railroads don't want the railroads to change, no matter how crappy our rail service is. College presidents don't want tuition to go down no matter how many American kids cannot afford tuition. The music industry doesn't want kids to download music even if they all go to jail.

    All of these special interests fund the Republicans, who argue for the "free market" meaning that the rich should be free to become much much richer.

    October 20, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. Dale

    If he really isn't concerned about that, than he is truly oblivious to his own situation. Republicans can change what they do (not what they say) to what the people want, or Republicans will go extinct.

    War, torture, no funding for welfare or health care, ignore the poor, etc. "Christians" uh huh. And smaller government? Fiscal discipline?!! Don't make me laugh. Republicans spend like drunken sailors. They just spend on the Military Industrial Complex and stuff like that rather than on social programs.

    October 20, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Mike Dallas

    "I feel good about where we are right now "

    So, does the other 80% of non-republicans.

    October 20, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. OldUncleTom

    Difference between today's GOP and that crazy Monte Python knight?

    The Knight was not hacking his own limbs off in the fight.

    October 20, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. ToGetherWeStand

    I consider myself an independent, however, I simply do not sympathize with the way Republicans have been talking from both sides of their mouths for the past 15 years. I have a hard time believing that they have my well-being and the well-being of millions of mid-class Americans in their minds.

    October 20, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. I am the not so great and flaccid wizard of Rush

    America just loved those Bush "business-friendly" policies of no regulation, no anti-trust enforcement, lobbyists writing legislation,
    flourishing ponzi schemes and multi million dollar golden parachuttes to the bankers, insurance company big-wigs, big oil, big coal and the drug companies. And we want more, Mr. Steele; it's just you're just not right wing enough.

    How about "No Controls". Isn't that what the Rebirther Tea Party is all about?

    How did 28 years of "big business gone wild" go for you, America?
    Anything left in your 401 K?

    October 20, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. fred

    May God have mercy upon each one of us !!

    October 20, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Urma Hayes

    Exaaaaaactly! You said it Steele, not me. You are only concerned with the votes, it's all about politics with the GOP and it always has been. They couldn't care less about rebranding themselves, beause, once again, it's all about the status quo. They're not looking for change, they're not looking to evolve, they're not interested in what the little guys care or think. It's THEIR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY! And ladies and gentlemen, this is exactly what's WRONG with the GOP, which is why the lost the election and continue losing house and senate chairs and general public support!!!

    Leave this nasty party behind and come on board the Democratic Party, we are the party of tomorrow, the repubs are the party of yesterday!

    October 20, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. LacrosseMom

    That's the problem with the GOP they are in denial. The GOP has lost touch with Americans, who have moved left of center.

    In 2008, we, the People, sent a VERY LOUD and clear message to the GOP........ STOP THE LIES, HATE, FEAR & DIVISION! They are deaf. They are sadly, self-righteous people who will not compromise, will not work together for the good of ......... our Nation.

    You can have all kinds of "patriotic" slogans, "Country First" etc., you can claim to be "Real Americans"; you can tell lies, mislead and fear monger, all you want. However in the end, it is WE, the People who have the VOTE.


    October 20, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. Californian

    "as long voters ultimately choose candidates who favor small government, business-friendly policies."

    That's good advice. If everyone voted according to those principals, we would never elect another republican.

    October 20, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Steve M.

    Once again, the republican party has NO leadership, NO agenda, NO CLASS! All they do is lie, complain, say no, smear and lie again. I wouldn't dare admit I was a Republican at the rate this is going.

    October 20, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. m jeff

    Steele is right, Republicans don't care about the people, just their vote.

    October 20, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Steele Not Barack Obama

    I don't like Michael Steele. First of all he is so jealous of Barack Obama and thinks he should be president. This man has an ego the size of Texas, and just can't understand why people don't like him. I don't like him, and I'm black.

    I think the reason is...he's one of those bagwinds who uses people and then pretends he got where he is on his own. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Michael Steele wouldn't know how to thank someone if it killed him. He's just so selfish.

    I like Barack Obama because he is always thinking about others. He's a leader, a great American and my president. I can't wait to vote for his re-election in 2012.

    October 20, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. once upon a horse

    less people want to be associated with the GOP and the so-called leader of the party doesn't seem to care. Good answer there Mr. Steele. Just shows you're the head in FACE only.

    October 20, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Anne

    This is the precise reason why I left the Republican Party. They only care about the super-duper wealthy, they couldn't care less about anyone "not worthy of them." As long as you're blindsidedly voting for them and are willing to sit and listen to the garbage they spew, they don't care, they just want your vote!


    October 20, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. m smith

    MR steele has been a very poor choice to represent the rebublican party. His Hip hop slang ways has done a disservice and acts as a stereo type. The republican party is on the ropes and needs to step into the world and recognize people want health care and a break from fossile fuels We are tired of the back stabbing ,name calling and lies. Untill they get a grip their rateings will continue to go down. Stop sending us people like Palin,Romney,and the likes . Looks for some new people with a brain and then maybe you will have a party .

    October 20, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Thomas G.

    The lack of leadership in our party sucks! As much as I don’t care for Pelosi, I have to hand it to the Dems, at least they try to think positively and seem determined to want to help. If the economy improves and Obama is able to pull this off, I will be switching over to the Democratic Party come 2010 and 2012. I'm pretty middle-of-the-road, but lean toward a conservative ideology, but even I can’t handle this nonsense anymore.

    October 20, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. Deb

    I agree with Steele, its all about the candidate. Give me a good candidate...GOP or Dem or Indi that can deliver results and i will cast my vote for him or her. In my opinion, most americans are really non-partisan no mater what these polls and what labels have been thrown out there.

    October 20, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. Shirley In California

    Right . Liar.

    October 20, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    My, did he hit that nail on the head. The Obama administration is certainly all about big business and big government. How's that working for ya? I didn't think so.

    October 20, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Brennan

    And this is the GOP leader! And why havent the GOP Fired him yet?!!

    October 20, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. hongli

    Michael Steele is the Republican's FLOOR – CLOTH. They will use him and then Rush Limbaugh will give him the final kick through the door. What a JERK!!!!

    October 20, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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