[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/23/art.firepelosi.cnn.jpg caption=" Michael Steele is on the defense after a controversial depiction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on the RNC website."]
(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is defending his decision to picture House Speaker Nancy Pelosi surrounded by flames on his organization's Web site alongside the phrase: "Fire Pelosi."
"Actually, I tamed it down," Steele responded when asked Tuesday on CBS if the Web site's depiction was "a little bit extreme."
Steele countered: "The reality of it is I don't know why you're surprised. Nancy Pelosi is the architect of the demise of one-sixth of our economy. She should be fired for her failure to serve the interests of the American people."
The RNC also emphasizes that "40 Seats Means No More Madam Speaker," and aims to raise over $1 million in the first 40 hours since the health reform measure was passed. The RNC said it has raised close to $912,000. Republicans need a net win of 40 House seats in the November midterm elections to regain control of the chamber.
"This administration and this Congress thumbed their nose at the American people over the last year – countless town halls, Tea Party events, 30,000 people on the Mall the day that they're signing this bill saying 'Don't do this.' They did not listen. Their arrogance knows no bounds," Steele also said.
The chairman's comments come the same day President Obama will sign the sweeping health care reform legislation into law at the White House. The president will then hit the road to sell the measure to a still-skeptical public, giving a speech Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
The bill, which constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees in more than four decades, passed the House of Representatives late Sunday night with no Republican support. It was approved by the Senate in December.
In his comments Tuesday, Steele predicted public opinion will definitively turn against the bill when its details are further revealed.
"This government knows no bounds," he said. "And I think there's a lot in this bill yet to be revealed when the American people. And when it's further revealed, it will be less liked."
"When you were a kid and you had to get the needle and before you got the needle, the doctor put a nice juicy lollipop in front of you and said, 'Here's a lollipop!' and he hits you with the needle," Steele also said. "And that's what's going to happen here."