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. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Radical, dude! Maybe Steele will shred some gnarly tubes and get the surfer dude vote. Have a nice day!

    January 27, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Dave R

    Sure elitist.

    January 27, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I believe that it is a working meeting as much as I own the Brooklyn Bridge (it is for sale at a good price). I wonder how much they are letting Steele do given he seems to be only a figure head much of the time.

    January 27, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. SM

    But I thought Hawaii was a foreign country? At least it was when it was about Obama's birthplace.

    January 27, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. katiec

    Well, Jack, are you going to rant and rave and expose this irresponsible use of funds, extravagance as you did Copenhagen???

    January 27, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. CJS DAD

    Typical GOP rhetoric. If it"s all business, no need to be there. Hawaii doesn`t need to be "exposed" to the rich bastards thumbing thir collective noses at them. If we expect American companies to trim unneccesary expenses, don`t you think the party should do the same?
    Oh, that`s right, they don`t give a crap about the rest of America, so they will always do as they wish. Elitist PIGS!

    January 27, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Four and The Door

    ...and it is actually a State. I kinds wish the Democrats would get out of Washington more and visit the states where there really are unemployment and economic problems. Washington DC is booming since the Obama train pulled in, but the rest of us are dealing with a very real set of issues that apparently Washington politicians are oblivious to. To them, apparently the biggest problem as evidenced by Massachusetts voters is the lack of effort by local Democratic politicians.

    January 27, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Mlhall

    Yes, it ok for the party to be there, Just President Obama can't go there and it his home. All I hear President need to stay at the WH and work, Bush could go to the ranch and any where else but not that half black President

    January 27, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. dp

    The critics are right! A convention should not be in a nice place. RNC, have it in Camden instead. 😉

    January 27, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. Joe in NJ

    If Pelosi can go to Dennmark, why can't the Republicans go to Hawaii?

    January 27, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Anthony

    Thats funny for a party that doesnt think hawaii is a state. LOL OMG that they would have thier meeting on foreign soil LOL They are planning how to sell out to all the corporate money that will come thier way with the supreme courts decision. They are Unpatriotic and treasonous.

    January 27, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. ygtbsm

    Expose Hawaii to Americans? Give me a break! We're quite familliar with Hawaii, and how we can't afford to go there. If this is really a "working meeting", it could just as easily be accomplished in Pittsburgh.

    January 27, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "It's a chance to really kind of expose Hawaii to the rest of America. ..."

    That sounds like the sort of excuse my kids might think up.

    January 27, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. juge

    Bah Humbug – just think what y'all would say if the Democrats were there. Just think what y'all said when President Obama spent his Xmas vacation there – and it is his hometown. HYPOCRITS!

    January 27, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Wisconsonite

    And yet, wasn't Michael Steele one of the biggest screamers when the President went on vacation to his childhood home in Hawaii? Ah yes . . . the hypocracy-train rolls on and on.

    January 27, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Mike1952

    Can't justify this in any way. And I'm a conservative.

    January 27, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. Donkey Party

    I guess we all should be thankful to Uncle Steele that they only went to Hawaii for all of their "hard work". Can't help but wonder where their meeting would've been if their party actually had worked.

    January 27, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Tom D. Pacific Palisades, Calif

    "Expose Hawaii to the nation.." ? He certainly does fit right in with the Palin and other twisted, incompetent political mentalities of, sadly,
    both parties. Go ahead, play in the sand, stay in your bubble, while so many of us on the mainland are "eating sand" and losing friends and family in hopeless wars which serve(d) no purpose at all.

    January 27, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Mitch

    REALLY??? So having everyone fly in for thousands of dollars of taxpayers money is ok with Mr Steele and the Republicans? Perhaps they flew in on corporate jets???? Tell me Mr. Steele, how would you respond if the Democrats gathered in Hawaii? Many of your own party and supporters BLASTED Obama for spending vacation time there and HE'S FROM THERE!

    No, this is what the real Americans see as the hypocrisy of the right wing. They condemn Obama for not listening to the people and without any facts or proof claim he's shredding the constitution, making America a marxist nation and more. Meanwhile Steele and the GOP are using the constitution as a beach blanket.

    At least bring us back a bag of Macadamian nuts...regular Americans can't afford to fly to Hawaii lately or buy them in the stores. We have more pressing needs.


    January 27, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Gee, the GOP is going to "expose Hawaii to the rest of America"? How patronizing! Hawaii's #1 industry is tourism, with a huge number of Americans traveling there from the mainland.

    And it's not a vacation ..... Riiiiiiight .....

    January 27, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    The fat cats always pick some fab vacation spot to meet, because they don't actually do all that much meeting.

    January 27, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    Are they going to look up President Obama's birth certificate while there? You know, the one many of their members believe to be forged?

    Probably not – because the GOP relies on fear-mongering and ignorance to promote their party.

    January 27, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. please

    The rich have to enjoy themselves. God forbid they "work hard" in a non-resort location.

    January 27, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. chelle

    Yes because Hawaii is such an unknown state to the rest of the country. Who is he trying to kid? Have the conference in Wyoming then – I'd hazard a guess far fewer Americans have travelled there. What a buffoon!

    January 27, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. gary davis harbor oregon

    as long as the purist party republicans act this way nothing will change .. bunch of GOD ACTING BOTTOM FEEDERS
    it will always be the party of whities 🙂

    January 27, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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