January 27th, 2010
09:51 AM ET
12 years ago

Steele defends Hawaii backdrop

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/27/surfer.gi.jpg caption="Republicans are holding their winter meeting in Hawaii."]
(CNN) - As the Republican National Committee gets set to kick off its winter meeting in Hawaii, chairman Michael Steele is defending the cushy venue amid criticism from some Republicans that tropical beaches are not the best background for the party as the economy continues to struggle.

"A lot of folks out there relax, we're working hard out here, this is not a vacation this is a working meeting this is our winter meeting, we're here to do the business of the party and we'll get it done," Steele told local television station KHON.

"It's a chance to really kind of expose Hawaii to the rest of America. I mean it's part of the growth and the fabric of this nation, and I think it's important for us as a party to be here," he said.


Filed under: Michael Steele • RNC
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Clyde

    Tropical paradise???? Just got back from Oahu and the beaches of Waikaki are great after the homeless and the schitzo mumblers clear out. Also from Obama's home island the Dems can point out to the Repubs that the shanty towns that have sprung up along the shores are much nicer now that Obama is in office... they have new tarps to keep the rain out and the garbage is now down from waist deep to knee deep.So from what I have sen recently... Oahu is the perfect Republican venue to point out the struggling economy...when it rebounds we can all make enough to go there and create jobs for the people in the tents and then maybe more can go see the ocean with out looking thru someones shanty town home!

    January 27, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Moby

    Cleveland needs the money. Meet there, not at some cushy tropical resort.

    January 27, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Gary

    I think the GOP is right to hold their meeting in Hawaii instead of places like Detroit or Cleveland or other locations that have high unemployment and need the convention dollars. After all, who wants to hang around and be seen with poor smucks who have to work for a living and support their families! Mr. Steele's choice of location and venue really shows the GOP concern for the average working man and woman!

    January 27, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Tom in FL

    Not to mention that Hawaii isn't really a state, so Obama is a FOREIGNER (according to the Republican 'birthers')!

    January 27, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. rar

    While the RNC can spend their money to travel any place they want, their choice to travel to a high cost vaction destination and feeling that "it's important we need to be here" shows their arrogance. It rivals that of Speaker Pelosi's travel choices to Denmark and refusal to talk about them. I just received an RNC contribution solicitation. In light of their feeling that they have to play the role of the Hawaii tourist industry, i.e. "It's a chance to really kind of expose Hawaii.....", I will promptly toss the solictation in the recycle bin. I don't know what makes me angrier, their choice of Hawaii or their rationalizations.

    January 27, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It's no big deal, my family and I vacationed in Hawaii along with many families who also struggle with the economy, it was worth it and we had a ball. I'm a Democrat and don't feel like every little news about nothing is important enough to complain unlike the Republicans.

    January 27, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    Sorry Dude, Even as a conservative, I'm not buying that! My party is just as out of touch as the "DONKEY PARTY". Even if it is private funds, the appearance looks bad! Sadly, it appears neither party has the best for Americans at heart! "It's a chance to really kind of expose Hawaii to the rest of America" Huh? Hawaii was exposed during the filming of Hawaii 5-0 or Pearl Harbor! (pick your own show)! We already know! But that reasoning is jacked up!

    January 27, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Molly Weasley

    One wonders if the Village idiots that make up our nation's media, such as Cokie Roberts, will say that the Republicans are "out of touch" for going to such a "foreign" locale as Hawaii, as they insisted when Obama went there over Christmas, even though that's where he grew up and it's been a state for more than 50 years.

    Somehow I doubt it - they'll just breathlessly report how Republicans are in charge again. Washington media are never happy unless Republicans are in charge. And people claim the media are "liberal"? Don't make me laugh.

    January 27, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Sir Craig

    Seriously, what is it with politicians these days? First Pelosi nails the taxpayer with a $1,000,000 bill for a junket with her cronies to the Netherlands, and then Steele and the RNC hierarchy tap dances around their reasoning for holding their winter meeting in Hawaii. Granted, the Hawaii trip isn't taxpayer funded (as far as we know) but it still shows a continuing tactlessness that we have come to expect from politicians: Why not show solidarity with the average American and hold their meeting in a state that isn't the most expensive, like, say, North Dakota (a firmly red state)?

    Oh yeah, it's cold there, and heaven forbid we should expose their tender flesh to the elements, unless it's surrounded by sun, sand, surf, and fruity drinks with little paper umbrellas. "We're not there to party."

    Right...

    January 27, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Yeah? Why is it important to expose Hawaii to the rest of America? It's not like they're doing something the rest of the country can learn from. Why is it important "for us as a party to be here"? It's not like Hawaii is a bastion of conservative thinkers; they're still going to elect democrats.

    Come on, Steele, don't be like the hypocrite democrats, own up to your desire for a Hawaiian vacation on someone else's tab!

    January 27, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. Right Leaning Independent

    Do any politicians understand the perception the public has when they go off to exotic places when Americans are hurting today? Pelosi did it on the jaunt to Copenhagen. The Repubs are doing it with their meetings in Hawaii. Wait until times are good to take your exotic retreats!

    January 27, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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