November 3rd, 2010
12:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Steele: Election gives GOP a second chance

(CNN) - Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is crediting grassroots efforts and the involvement of state Republican Parties with fueling major GOP gains across the country, just hours after Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

"It has been a long time coming since we've had this taste of victory in our mouths," Steele said in a conference call with reporters, adding that Republicans were "humbled" by the opportunity to govern again.

Asked whether the GOP gains were a result of the anger of voters or a genuine desire to return Republicans to power, Steele said it was less about voters thinking "we're running back into the arms of the GOP" and more "we're going to give the GOP a second chance."

Steele said he was given warnings from voters that if the party did not stick to its tenets - reducing the deficit, limiting government and lowering taxes– they would be out of luck in 2012.

"I heard that all across the country, people saying, you know, you guys better not screw this up because you're next on the list if you do,” Steele said.

Elaborating on the sense that voters were frustrated with both parties in Washington, Steele spoke about his GOP strategy for reaching out to voters who were dissatisfied with the results the last time the Republicans were in power.

"I felt it in 2006 when I saw base Republicans go, I can't do this anymore, " Steele said and indicated that the premise for the 2010 strategy was to understand "how should we go about repairing the damage that's been done."

As for whether he thought the GOP's success would bolster his campaign should he decide to seek re-election as party chair, Steele avoided a direct answer.

"What happens going forward will happen," he said.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Augsbee

    It worked for President Clinton to have Republicans running the show for him so there is no reason why it won't work again to have Republicans running the show for Obama. Newt Gingrich ran things very well for Clinton, the country did very well so no reason John Boehner can't run things well also for President Obama.

    November 3, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. maf

    Yikes, how about a complete do-over of this mid-term election!!! You all have been duped!! GRIDLOCK, that's right
    G R I D L O C K!! You can already see it with Cantor and Boehner, posturing for 2012 and the mid-terms weren't even in the books yet. The GOP will prove that they are unable to "change" anything and should be roundly voted out in 2012!

    November 3, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Too bad Steele won't get a second chance at being a bad joke. He is like a child – contradicting himself in the same short interview.

    November 3, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Silence! The Leader of the Mo-Tea-Sir(?) tribe speaks. Yes, this may be your second chance, but it may also be your last. Now you fascists have to govern after your 2 year vacation. Tough luck on getting anything done. I have one word for you: VETO!!!

    November 3, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    A second chance to do what? Destroy this country? Good luck with your new house of representatives, folks. Can't wait to see what stunning pieces of legislation they produce. Hahaha. It's going to be fun laughing at stupid right-wingers as they lose their jobs, retirement and homes. Have a nice day!

    November 3, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. unretired05

    A second chance to obstruct all cooperation. The tea party already said they weren't going to negotiate on anything. They will get their way on everything or nothing will happen. Sounds like a bunch of spoiled brats to me.

    November 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. ConstitutionalPatriot

    I have no love for the Republican party. That said for all you liberal nutjob statists bwahahahahahahahaha! Know your role! Don't tread on me and get out of our lives! Change is coming and this is our first step toward restoring a legal constitutional government in this republic. You are the extremists who push illegal legislation on us and elect these fascists who harbor disdain for our freedoms. Neocons you watch out too because we will not turn full power over to you either! So now we have gridlock, the only choice to stop these two groups from continuing to erode our freedoms. Repubs better think hard about who they nominate for president in 2012, I will vote for Obummer if we get a neocon!

    November 3, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Rational Thinker

    If the ratings of both parties say anything Mr. Steele, the GOP won not because they liked your party, but because they were voting against the Democrats.

    November 3, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. vic nashville tn

    We didn’t give second chance face critics what democrats face past two years

    November 3, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. DIANA

    I cried for this country last night. We're back to square one. But then I thought-President Obama only had a year and a half to fix this mess. The Republican's have all these great ideas, I expect results in one year.

    The only bright spot is us Californians aren't so stupd. We didn't vote Republican and the rest of the country will see how our state will rise in the next few years. Also kudos to Nevada for not electing that nutcase Angle.

    November 3, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Second chance at what – finally finishing off our country? The only ideas the GOP has is to cut taxes for the wealthy and deregulate business – which is exactly what got our country into this mess!

    Kudos, though, to all the seniors who voted Republican/Tea Party. Knock yourselves out trying to make ends meet when Social Security benefits are cut. Oh, and pray you don't get sick, because Medicare will be cut, too.

    I heard Walmart's having a sale on cat food ... better stock up ...

    November 3, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    "....a second chance"? WHAT??? Just how many chances did the [R]s have between 2000 – 2008, when they had complete power and they showed nothing but complete FAILURE? This fairytale of a "2nd chance" is just another sign of continued [R] delusion, and it is a decidedly BAD sign for America. It is the definition of "insane" to do something over and over again, and expect different results. It is INSANITY to now put more [R]s back into power so close on the heels of their repeated and total FAILURE. Unfortunately there are many people in America that have the brains of a small lemur - no wonder these people don't believe in evolution, they and their ancestors did not partake in it.

    November 3, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Rush Goebbels

    Lets see how many more good jobs you can send to China and India uncle Mike and see what happens to the neonazicons then in 2012,hahaha

    November 3, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    To everyone who held up a poster of President Obama as Hitler: The real fascists have taken over the House. Watch as foreign corporations ship your job overseas, infrastructure crumbles, the war machine grows larger and larger, reproductive freedom is rolled back, and American Taliban right-wing "Christian" sharia law is enacted.

    Everyone who believed the Republican lies and voted for them – I blame you for the sinkhole we're in and for making it so hard for President Obama and the Democrats to get us out.

    Don't come crying to me when you really start feeling the pain of Republican policies ....

    November 3, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is now time for "put up or shut up" by the GOP. Let us see how much of the economic recovery they claim is becuse of their efforts. It seems only fair since it was mostly their fault it happened. I would like to know whtat the tea partiers thought of what the GOP was duing during the Bush administration when the GOP controlled White House and Congress spent with abandon. Boeher was there along with Cantor and many other that claim support from theise people who don't really understand the constitution.

    November 3, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. justsayin

    definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. welcome to the nut house. someone should tell these guys that people without jobs dont pay taves. let the fleecing of america resume.

    November 3, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Lori in St Pete

    I've never been a fan of games of "chance". Since seniors voted overwhelmingly for teabag candidates and the teabags plan to dismantle Social Security, cut off those who have already received more $$$ than they've paid into the system and sue them for any overpayments. Then pay back every penny to those who haven't reached their threshold and those who have been paying into the system for decades but still have decades to go before they can collect benefits. It's only fair.

    November 3, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. The Unsub

    so now jobs will automatically appear? good luck with that!

    November 3, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    People in this country have very short memories. A second chance? Didn't you do enough harm to the country from 2000-2008? Even the Dow is down today. I would like to thank all the idiots who thought that if the rethugs weren't playing nice in the last 20 months that they are going to do so now. Congres is not the reach across the aisle place it used to be.
    BTW – that "taste of victory in our mouths" is the half term's crap.
    Speakilng of crap. She lost in her own home state (her lawyers are NOT going to find a loophole for her boy toy who should go quietly inbto the AK night and get lost with her). No twittering or facebook rantings from the quitter? I bet she had to take some pills last night so she could sleep.
    Sorry, but as bad as yesterday was with the voting, AK came through!!! 🙂 🙂

    November 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    GOP second wind? Like after a second helping of beans?

    November 3, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. u2canfail

    I just want to hold them to their promise. A balanced budget and less taxes. It was so easy to be mad, now govern. In 2 years, I expect this done. Start the cuts. MILITARY OUT, no cuts there, BUSH tax cuts in, less revenue, new tax cuts for business, less revenue again. YOU MUST CUT TO MATCH and then some, keep going. Balance away. Go for it! There are not enough programs in government to make this happen without cutting Social Security and Medicare. I will be watching.
    The American people want everything, but want to pay nothing for all that stuff.

    November 3, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "reproductive freedom is rolled back, and American Taliban right-wing "Christian" sharia law is enacted."

    Don't be so sure. You see, actually going through with it destroys the leverage they gain from the wedge issue and hands the outrage over to the Dems. More likely, they will make some token efforts that they know will be successfully blocked by the Dems and then use the "obstructionism" of the Dems to foment even more outrage from their own base in preparation for 2012. It's the same with illegal immigration. They don't actually want anything to fix it...that would get rid of yet another wedge issue that helps them tap into the racial prejudices and fears of their base. It's just ring around the rosie with these guys. The only things they actually want to accomplish, as opposed to just paying lip service to the issue in order to pander to their base, are tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of industry and evisceration of the middle-class so that we're all indentured servants beholden to industry.

    November 3, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. ART

    Yes they now have a second chance to put this nations economy into the gutter as they did before God help us all

    November 3, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. Dave

    Give me a break, Steele... You people can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Now you are all giddy about your second chance. Who will you blame when the country isn't magically transformed in two years? I'm sure you idiots will step right up...

    November 3, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. just sick!

    i'm just sick of the results...for all those who voted these right wing nut jobs in office, you deserve what you get...stock up on cat food you old white racists folx, that's what you'll be eating sometime soon if you're not dead by the lack of healthcare.

    unless of course you have that ever so evil "socialist devil medicare card" you people are sick in the head!

    thank goodness we got it right here in California..and thank you Nevada for not voting in that psycho Angle in!

    November 3, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
1 2