December 21st, 2009
06:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Steele: Dems 'flipping a bird to the American people'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Steele says the Democratic health care bill is 'bad for America.'"](CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made clear Monday he's not happy with Democratic efforts to pass a health care reform bill, saying the measure which cleared a procedural hurdle Sunday amounts to "flipping a bird to the American people."

"This is a bad bill. It's bad law. It's bad for America. It is bad certainly for individuals and enough is enough. I am tired of the Congress thumbing their nose and flipping a bird to the American people," Steele said on a conference call with reporters Monday. "I am tired of this Congress thinking it knows better than me and my family how to provide for our health care now and in the future."

Steele was joined on the call by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, the current head of FreedomWorks, in an apparent show of solidarity against the measure that narrowly passed a cloture vote in the early-morning hours Monday. Armey's group and the RNC have occasionally butted heads in the past year over the best way to tap into disapproval with Democratic policies, but Steele said Monday he is "honored" to work with "grassroots activists, tea partiers and others who are fighting the good fight."

FreedomWorks, which has provided much of the organizational heft behind the Tea Party movement, clashed with the RNC last fall when they endorsed an independent conservative in a New York congressional race over the GOP-backed candidate. As a result of the divided vote, the Democrat in the race won the conservative district for the first time in more than a century.

Letting bygones be bygones Monday, Steele called Armey "a man of principle, a man who has been able to reflect in a genuine way the voice of a lot of Americans out there."

"It's nice to know in this fight that you have individuals who are willing to stand up with you and lead the charge, individuals who you can follow into battle and who can follow you into battle and try and make sure we do what's best for the American people," said Steele.

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Steele's comments "obscene" in a Capitol Hill press conference Monday afternoon.

"I'm more worried about an example being set by a party leader with something so obscene, I think that's something people should be worried about," Reid said.

Filed under: Extra • Michael Steele
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. harold

    And you are right MR. Steele.. except you are the bird.... a Turkey at that......Suggest you get a job as a 25 Million a year CEO of a Health Insurance Company.....With all your pre -existing conditions you should do well Mr. Steele...

    December 21, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Susan

    Well Uncle Tom, as an American citizen as well, I happen to be very happy millions more Americans will receive health care.

    December 21, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Diane Portland OR

    Michael Steele, While this bill may not be perfect, it saves my daughters life. How is that bad for the people. Why don't you question the spending of our money on wars but when it comes to Health Care, not 1 penny of (our) money can be spent on the people.

    December 21, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Mike

    This guy is about as annoying as Sarah Palin. Looks like He had good dental insurance and eye care from that goofy looking smile.

    December 21, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Christian Values

    Steele represents the core value and embodies the best social skills that the republican base has to offer.

    Sad, but true. Steels is king of the retards (aka Republicans).

    December 21, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. P.J.

    I am sad that the Republican party has had so little to contribute to the health care issue. I know there are smart, honest Republicans who might have been able to find common ground for the good of the American people, but their voices have been silenced by a party leadership that insists on putting politics ahead of governing, by fear mongering aimed solely at boosting ratings for entertainers claiming to represent "the right," and the silly but sad Steel who never fails to entertain us with his adolescent antics. GOP? Let's hope we haven't lost that title forever.

    December 21, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Brian in California

    Oh my god!! What have the republican done to contribute to health reform?? They've done 3 things...nothing, nothing and oh yeah...NOTHING!
    Comments like these are akin to people who complain about our country's leadership yet they do not vote in elections. They haven’t done anything of substance and now they complain about the outcome.

    I do agree that this Senate bill is poor and weak. This is because it has been whittled down by those petty Senators who what their own beliefs represented instead of looking at what is best for the country and its people. The House bill is much better. Apparently polls show people are not happy with Senate bill. The reason is because every semblance of a public option was eliminated. If this bill had the Medicare extension then I'm sure many more would agree with it but because of one or two Senators, this was taken out. This was the last straw for this bill. Now it does virtually nothing.

    It's so sad this is the state Congress has come to. A state where NO ONE can work together at all. At least in the past, heated debates were had but things got done, now.... nothing of substance occurs. It's all about who can tell the most lies.
    The opposition would rather lie to and mislead the American people just to win an election rather than reform a broken system. This is not a competition people. This is about what is needed to help the people of this country.

    December 21, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. doug

    the democrates are flipping the bird at the insurance companies that want to profit from my death. where is your plan steele? all your buddies have healthcare, funded by our tax dollars. we are the last industriallized nation to neglect our citzens without a viable healthcare system, and now we take another small step toward beating down the washington lobbysts that want to suck us dry to boost their profits. go play in traffic steele!

    December 21, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Blue

    LOSER! See you in 2010 and 2012.

    December 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Slider

    The ONLY reason to vote for a Republican in the next few election cycles is for the complete reversal of any bill the Congress, led by the socialists, passes.

    It's way past time to check the agenda of the jive turkey in the White House, and his cronies in Congress and lobbyist organizations.


    December 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Yawn. It's not "news" anymore when Mushmouth dribbles something stupid out from under his 'stache...

    Let's hear what he has to say about the FACT that support for the Senate bill went DOWN when the public option was removed. They like to cite their blanket statistics about it being opposed, but they don't care (and ignore) why...why? Because they don't care what we want or what would work...just that they make sure (a) that the bill is as ineffective as possible and (b) their base is as angry as possible. Stupid buggers think they've won, when all they've really managed to do is take the Dems down with them...good plan...lowest common your'e all hated.

    December 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. George

    Steele and the Republicans are killing Americans. You are kissing the insurance companies butts and being the DEATH PANEL. Steele is almost as big of a jerk as Chenny. Nope sorry, he is as big of a jerk as Chenny.

    December 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. jane

    Oh, Steel is all class. What obscene rhetoric for the Chairman of the Republican party to use!

    December 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. kathy5

    No Mr. Steele, the Democrats are fipping YOU and your party of "NO" the bird. We are flipping the bird to those in your party who wanted this healthcare issue to be "Obama's Waterloo" – get it? It's you and your ilk who want to screw the American people.

    Oh BTW, "grrassroots" my arse!

    December 21, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Lynne in CA

    This Dem is flipping the bird to all those Rethugs who have crossed every rational line with their obstructionist tactics to deny any kind of health insurance reform in order to protect the profits of their corporate buddies. And a special double flip of the bird to Lieberman for flip flopping on the medicare buy in.

    December 21, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Robin in Tampa, FL

    The Republicans short term goal is to quickly get back into power no matter what. They have wasted an entire year with their obstructionist tactics on every major piece of legislation. Just look at the Senate ... the Republicans have made over 100 filibusters (blowing away the old record) in less than a year! That is insane! No Mr. Steele, it is your party which has thumbed it's nose at the American Public! The Democrats have a tough job fixing 8 years of Republicans mistakes, and they are getting ZERO assistance from your party.

    December 21, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Jack Lowe

    Hell, I like Uncle Tom and Dick A of the Teabaggers slugging it out. Just makes it easier for us real Americans!

    December 21, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm flipping the bird to the republican party.

    December 21, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. not alone

    least when the dems push a bill it benefits most of america unlike the tax breaks for the rich and free trade for the corperations that has ruined american way of life.

    December 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. J.Crobuzon

    No, pal, just at you. JUST AT YOU. And accountant, one for you too. Are you brain dead?

    December 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Jack

    This comment right here "I am tired of this Congress thinking it knows better than me and my family how to provide for our health care now and in the future.", is why I am completely upset and disgruntled with the republicans and most americans. Its not about you, it not about the individual. It's about the U.S., US and the communities we live in. The me, me, me mentality of this country just reaffirms my belief that this country is still in its adolescent years. Nothing but whiny demanding people on their individual wants and needs. What ever happen to nationalism and taking care of all Americans regardless of their incomes. Maybe I am wrong, but I truly feel I was born in the wrong century. People should just get over it, it's not about you, it's about "US".

    December 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Len in Washington

    And this is for you...."Mr." Steel ..l.,

    Now go away!

    December 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. W l Jones

    it appears the chairman of the Repud committee on this bill thinking in term of a cave man when it come to what the American people wont.

    December 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Marion

    And the GOP's alternative to this bill was...?

    Oh, they SAY that they have a plan that involves insurance and tort reform that they claim will fix everything, but here's a fun fact. For most of the Clinton and Bush administrations, Republicans controlled Congress, yet they passed absolutely no health care reform bill at all. Gee, I wonder why. Could it be because making health care affordable simply isn't on their priority list? They claim they're all about free markets, yet the Bush administration did everything in its power to stop the import of drugs from Canada. Sounds like protectionism to me.

    Here's a little tip to the GOP. When you've had years to fix a problem, and you haven't done so, don't complain when someone else comes up with a solution. If you guys had all the answers, why didn't you even try to implement them when you had the chance? Or is it that you're happy with the current state of affairs but don't want to admit it?

    December 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. God Bless President Obama!

    The Republican Congress flipped the American People the bird from 1995-2007, If anything i think this Bill flips the Bird to the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement! Thats a GREAT thing!

    This Bill is finally what the people need and want! I do beleive that the final Bill will have the Public Option and everything that the American People ultimatley want!

    Thank You President Obama and the Democratic Congress!

    December 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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