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. zap01

    Will he feel good after he loses his race? It would be hilarious to me. Not concerned about 20 percent? Must not care much either. Well, Obama was right, there is always Hope.

    October 20, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. CR

    Michael Steel is consistent. Consistently goofy. His Republican Party is in full-bore meltdown. Normal, decent people are deciding they're done with it.

    October 20, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Luv for Hillary in TX

    uh.....my guess is if they don't like and want to be associated with your party anymore, they probably aren't gonna vote for you either!!!

    October 20, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    "Not really?"

    So having 100% of all nine remaining Republicans vote Republican is all that matters?

    That's dumb enough a Democrat might have said it.

    And, by the way, it's been a long time since any Republican actually favoured "small government." They talk the talk on that and a lot of other issues–like respect for individual liberty and fiscal restraint–but that's all it is: talk. They don't actually believe it any more–they just hope die-hard Republicans are dumb enough to be conned by it.

    (I'm a bitterly disappointed former Republican, if that wasn't obvious.)

    October 20, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    he isn't concerned because he will wake up one morning real soon and say ..what am I doing ..time to ask the democrates if they need any help shaping the american dream

    gary davis
    harbor oregon
    fire it up ready to go 🙂

    October 20, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Obama fan...not!

    Have you asked Obama if his declining support is bothering him?

    Of course not....You're CNN

    October 20, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. Phat Elvis

    Well my jaw just dropped to the floor. how out of touch can you get??
    For Steele not to be concerned about declining GOP support is like Rick Wagoner not being concerned about declining GM sales.

    October 20, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. Independent

    Republicans are not not "Favor small government, business-friendly policies. They are the opposite!!!

    October 20, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    lol...you wonder sometimes who does these polls....back at the kitchen table you hear support for the GOP in the next round....partly because there really aren't many good fighters out there...but also because they saw the fight going on now in the past and just don't want a re run.

    October 20, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. fred

    I'm thinking he should be concerned...

    October 20, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. Willsooooon!!!

    The fact Steele is not really concerned is the very reason it is at 20%

    October 20, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. gl, Pittsburgh

    Steele is a stupid fool.

    October 20, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Um, Mike, not for nothing but my understanding is that your role as REPUBLICAN National Committee chairman is to be very deeply concerned about whether people consider themselves Republicans. Did you not read the job description before you applied for the role?

    October 20, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. gl, Pittsburgh

    Small government went out the window with Bush Administration stupid Steele.

    October 20, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. charlie in Maine

    I tell you what I was part of the 20% who did not like Bush at the height of his popularity so even though I can't understand their beliefs I can relate to their situation. All I can say is things change and I hope to God that we can get healthcare and stop global warming before the pendulim swings back.

    October 20, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Chad

    Wall Street Journal, Oct 20:

    "The Democratic National Committee said it raised about $8 million in September. That’s less than the Republican National Committee, which raised $8.8 million in the same time period, and the second month running the RNC has pulled ahead."

    Really CNN?

    October 20, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. Marie-Silver Spring Md

    You better worry about it yes sir man.Your a real joke Steele and will never never be the politician President Obama,Vice President Biden or Secretary Hillary Clinton is.The voters of Marykland didn't want you when you were here and now your pushing the envelope just to be a jacka_ _ to be the republican committee chairman.The republicans used you to get the black votes and you were stupid enough to think you would...well guess what? It aint gonna happen...not in this lifetime

    October 20, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. zap01

    Guess we have to vote another 5 democrats that aren't blue dogs to get our policies enacted.

    October 20, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Sean

    Of course he's not worried. He's too stupid to realize he SHOULD be...

    October 20, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  20. fella from chicago

    As long as those who call themselves Independents vote Republican like the polls indicate they will, who cares?

    October 20, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. chad in seattle, wa.

    he should be worried. people dont want to be connected with biggots and racist. while it is true that the vast majority of conservatives are niether of these foul words, a lot must be ashamed of the way so called leaders speak and conduct themselves in the public eye. people somtimes vote for the lesser of two evils, to win those votes, they should really take a look in the mirror.

    October 20, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. Biased

    Why would anyone admit in a poll or to anyone nowadays that they were republican when it comes down to it. You have the media loving the new poster boy the dems love to call the one with guts – Grayson – calling them knuckle dragging neandrethals. You have media ridiculing and calling them the party of no without them even bothering to discuss what their suggestions are, and you have Obama supporters who love to call anyone who dares not show adulation bigots and racists. No, why should anyone in their right mind open themselves to ridicule when they don't have to in this political climate. Perhaps it is time to decide whether this new tone in Washington Obama promised is even more confrontational than ever.

    October 20, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Michael

    Now THAT is a true Steele Statement. He doesn't care- his party doesn't care- and their nauseating mouthpieces such as Limbaugh, O'Reily and Cheney doesn't care. The Party of NO- The Party that doesn't care!
    That might be part of their problem?

    October 20, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  24. Eleanor

    That sounds like a responsible, enthusiastic leader.

    October 20, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. HJA

    " 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."

    Let me translate that for you.
    Small govt..........Deregulate big corporations$$$$$$$
    business-friendly policies..........Keep that lobby money comin...ChaChing$$$$$

    October 20, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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