« Longtime lawmaker Pauline Menes dies | Main | Davis and Perez in holding pattern »

May 19, 2009

Republican Steele: A New Era of Class

Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, in what his press secretary has billed as "an important speech," will call for civility and a return to the nuts and bolts of party-building at a luncheon for Republican state chairmen in Prince George's County.

"The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over. It is done," Steele said in prepared remarks that were provided to the Associated Press. "We have turned the page, we have turned the corner. No more looking in the rearview mirror. From this point forward, we will focus all of our energies on winning the future."

He said Republicans will continue to criticize the Democrats. But, he said, unlike the "shabby and classless way" Democrats took on Bush, Republicans will take on Obama with class and dignity.

Steele, whose early months as RNC chief have been marked by an unusual amount of internal party bickering, assured the Republican state leaders at a private session this morning that he's whipping the national headquarters into shape and has gotten beyond the stumbles that have worried Republicans and provided easy targets for Democrats.

Earlier, in an appearance on "Fox and Friends," Steele said Republicans need to intensify their party-building efforts.

"It's time for us to get our heads out of the clouds and out of the sand and stop moping," he said, "and lay out an agenda that looks forward to the future."

Even as he attempts to refocus attention away from his own gaffes and internal dissent, Steele finds himself on the defensive over salaries paid to staff members.

The Washington Times reports that the RNC is paying former White House aide Angela Sailor, the party's outreach director, an annual salary of $180,000, more than twice the pay of the last person to hold the job.

A rare session of the full Republican National Committee is to be held Wednesday at the conference site, the National Harbor resort on the Potomac River just south of Washington.

One item that had been expected to draw unwanted attention, a resolution by conservatives to have the RNC formally brand the Democrats as a "Socialist" Party, appears to have been headed off. Revised wording, which still must be voted on, would say instead that the Democrats under President Barack Obama are taking the country in the direction of socialism.

Posted by Paul West at 11:30 AM | | Comments (47)
Categories: Michael Steele


The RNC agenda for health care reform is portable individual insurance and tax free HSAs. There have been thousands of articles on health care reform in the last two weeks and none on Republican health care reform. That's poor leadership. Steele can't get Rush Limbaugh to mention Republican health care reform.

A New Era of Class? Is that what they are calling it?

I can't wait until they claim "Mission Accomplished" next week.

Classy? El Rushbo? Hannity? O'Reilly? Michael Savage? Michele Bachmann? That's one classy group of role models! Dream on Mr. Steele. You have much work to do and so little time.

I am looking forward RNC for 2012 Palin Palin!!!!!!!!also RNC needs to pose the Democrats as Socialist Party

The wrong man at the wrong time for the Republican Party. If they are afraid to stick to principles, oust the RINOs(Republican in Name only), and stop listening to Carvelle and Powell as to what the party needs, then they may way as well stick their heads back in the clouds and dream big.

I must have looked away at exactly the wrong moment, because I seem to have missed the "era" of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past. Heck, I even missed the part where they admitted that they'd made any mistakes.

The "party of personal responsibility" has become notorious for dodging responsibility.

'The RNC agenda for health care reform is portable individual insurance and tax free HSAs'

Well, if that really is their plan (the republicans) for health care it is no wonder it is not being covered - they don't want it to be covered, as it is not a plan. HSA's are a bad joke unless you make huge amounts of money, and then you'll have health insurance anyway. As far as portability goes, well, for most of us it doesn't. My job, and most other jobs out there do not offer health insurance.

So, in other words, their plan is to keep everything the same - what a surprise!

PS, the democrats are gonna screw it up anyway, President Obama will not be able to defeat the congressional powers in this area.

Never trust a Republican.

Potato and Potato, the socialist versus socialism sentence at the end gave me a chuckle. I will come back to my party when they untie themselves from the religious right and pick up their fiscal conservative values once again. I'm more worried of a president who "listens" to god than I am of one who is accused of being a socialist.

Whoops! I think there's an extra C and L in "Class".

I'll believe it when I see it. If Steele wants to introduce a new era of class he can start by throwing Limbaugh out of the party. As for "not looking backward" -- good luck with that. The Republicans' persistent hostility to any kind of oversight of the banking system hung the economic albatross around America's neck. The public won't stop looking backwards until unemployment goes below 3% and the stock market above 10,000 again.

Classless Steele says? What about the way Newt and gang critized first lady Clinton and any other Dems?Unfortunately Republicans have short memories and are the Pharisees Jesus talks about in the Bible-self-righteous and narcicisstic--they only see faults in others, not themselves.

Why should anybody believe the republicans now? When just 6 months ago they were telling the American people we should have faith in them and they are true Americans and now Steels say's he's sorry. Is sorry going to get out of the cluster $%&@? I'm not a big Obama fan, but I really hope he doesn't screw us as bad as the others did.

"The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over. It is done," Steele said in prepared remarks that were provided to the Associated Press. "We have turned the page, we have turned the corner. No more looking in the rearview mirror. From this point forward, we will focus all of our energies on winning the future."

(yaaawwnnn)... I'm so tired of hearing this crap.. I've been hearing this same crap for the past 30 yrs.. nothing changes. I don't consider this guy to be the leader of the Republican party anyway.. The problem is there is no leadership in the Republican or Democrat party either. Just a bunch of organized criminals sucking the life blood out of America and their people..

Must be nice to screw up royally for 8 years and turn many American lives upside down for the rest of their lives, and after 4 months of maybe "Did I do that?" and declare no more apologies from us.

Michael Steele is a refined man, a
fine speaker, and one who is honest.
It is a welcome voice, one that tells
us all how we cannot spend more than
we have, that we can and will be
employed and not be 'bailed out' by
our government, and also, I was
encouraged that there was much
applause. We DO need to follow the
tenets of Ronald Reagan, who has
inspired us.

"But, he said, unlike the "shabby and classless way" Democrats took on Bush, Republicans will take on Obama with class and dignity."

Gee, I hope they have as much class and dignity as when they were impeaching Clinton.

Ah, it;'s just as easy as that..."we've turned the corner, no more looking in the rear view".... Of course NEVER acknowledging the mistakes of the past or worse yet, regurgitating their same flawed policies of tax cuts for the wealthy and tax sheltered corporations, might before negotiations, etc.

Mr Steele, make sure an let us know when you begin to respond to the president with "class and dignity". We're still waiting.

Good one, Mark Anderson!

If only the RNC could reign in the conservatives, but that seems unlikely. The far right has long since hijacked the party and it is not likely to surrender it so easily to moderates. There are just too many that have become entrenched throughout the Bush era. They are not going to get up and just leave the table because Steele says so. These are people who are really committed to this far right agenda and they are NOT going away. Perhaps there will finally come a time for a 3rd party. A far right version of the RNC that would sound much like what was there during Bush; and a more moderate version that can try to win back a majority. It's great that we live where all ideas can be expressed.

It would solve lots of problems for the republicans if we could "move forward" and forget the past. However, those who forget history are condemned to repeat it and we cannot ever have another Bush administration. The republicans need to acknowledge how and why their party went so far astray before they can change it. I'm an independent and I don't want to see either party dominating our country, but the republicans are so fiscally irresponsible and such a party of obstructionism, I feel I'll be forced to continue to vote for the democrats. Instead of sending out the attack dogs, how about coming up with some real ideas of your own to fix what you see as being wrong with this country.

A party chairman can only encourage crtical attack and activity toward the opposition, He hurts himself if he does criticism of those in his party
If asked what he would say about a fellow Republicamn the answer is "I would put it different but lets pour it on and let the people know our concerns"

While we're at calling the Democrats Socialists, can we also call Elephants Orangutangs? I'm also interested in calling Coke 7-Up. If we vote on it, does 1+1 = 5? cause that's seems to be how Republicans do math: by committee.

Good luck with that Mr. Steele. As long as Cheney and Limbaugh are the public face of the Republican party, there is no hope for any significant change. As long as republicans continue to defend torture they will remain in a small minority. As long as republicans attack in hissy fits instead of debating issues and seeming intelligent, it's all downhill.
I do hope the republicans can get it together again before they completely implode.

Republicans? Class???? heehhe. Like anyone is going to fall for that line. You have NO class. Keep digging your grave guys with the same old BS! Till you wake up and get your head out of your right wing butts, your gonna lose. Keep on letting that real classy loudmouth Rush tell you what to do.

A return to civility? So this is a cautionary diatribe for the GOP? The Republican party has degenerated into the most dispicable, NAZIesque tactics. If Michael Steele wants civility and dialogue he needs to counsel his party to grow up and join the human race.

Mr. Steele wants a new era because he doesn't want to answer for his misdeeds 2 years ago:

Republican National Committee BLEW IT on Steele Spending Oversight

- Steve Lebowitz

It's nice to see all of the concerned Democrats on this board. Like it or not, the Republicans pendulum will swing back their direction. Until then, it's going to be YOUR party's turn, so enjoy it, and stop the partisan bickering.

I vaguely recall objecting to Bush's spreading spree in Iraq and being called, by virtually every Republican in the country, a traitor.

The GOP is a joke. The sooner they disappear, the better for everyone.

I love how liberals talk about mean spirited & hateful right wingers like Rush, Hannity & O'Reilly, but seem completely oblivious to the venom spewed by people like Michael Moore & Keith Olbermann

Isn't this the same Michael Steele who wanted Ron Paul banned from the 2008 presidential debates?

You couldn't print what I think of him.

Well Tony.. you mean the far right that believes in smaller government, lower taxes, the constitution, state rights, and freedom and liberty. That far right? haha... please. Or maybe you're talking about pro-life as being far right even though thats always been a conservative belief.
Maybe you stop the BS talking points of the far left and should worry more about how extreme far left your party that occupies the White House, Senate, and House now has gone.The largest expansion of Government ever, the largest amount of spending ever, taking over the private sector and putting unions in charge of companies they took over to negotiate with themselves. Also throwing babies in closets to die is a bit far left and extreme in my opinion... more so then wanting to allow babies to live with what you consider far right. Hard core Dems are so far left those in the middle seem far right. Obamas a 1 term president and the Dem majority will be short lived. Bush and most resent Presidents had higher ratings then Obama at this stage except for Clinton.
I believe Steele was saying he's apologizing for the Republicans straying from their values i mentioned earlier and for moving to far left. Thats what got them in the mess they're in.

It's funny to see the classy comments made by those that clearly oppose the Republican party, being composed of anything but class. Instead of uniting as Americans, our great Republic divides itself via Party if either side isn't heading down the same road. It's like horses pulling the cart with blinders on, you'll happily go where you're pointed, because you have willingly given up the right to think for yourself. You should believe in the individuals you send to Washington, not the party that backs them, as neither is innocent in any one given event for which they are all responsible. We the people elected them, or failed to elect those we voted for, and it is within ourselves we should look for failure if our representative government is not doing what we think it should.

I owe allegiance to no party, and nor shall any be given again, or ever. I vote my conscience, as I am expected to by the founding fathers.

talk is cheap Mr. Steele, actions speak louder than words. please be quiet until you have something constructive to add. there are people making important decision and distractions are not welcome.

The Reps have always been aboujt class. The Dems had better hope and pray that the economy and jobs pickup in the next few years or their mandate will evaporate. Steele is an opportunitst who needs a job, he has no political principles besides self preservatioin.

ineteresting, now that the Republican party is implicated in torture, corruption and stupidity, suddenly conservatives aren't a member of "any party." I guess that makes them independents. The thing is, during this period of "representative" government, the REPUBLICANS controlled all the organs of government, and LIED to the CONGRESS about matters that it was ILLEGAL to lie about. Democrats DIDN'T DO THAT. At the very worst, they LISTENED to the lies and said nothing. You may not owe allegiance to "any" party, buy if you are an American, you most certainly should be OPPOSED to the Republican Parties LEADERS.

'The era of [Republicans] apologizing...
is now officially over.'
When, oh when, have Repuglicrites
offered a genuine apology for any
wrongdoing (i.e., crime & misdemeanor), eh?
I remember only one Lee Atwater, who
declared regrets only as he laid dying!?!
The GOP and their inside-the-Beltway
"Shadow Government" ARE about
wide dissemination of distorted and false talking points/messages, blind faith, and power (stealing it-exploiting it-securing it at all costs).

Instead of trying to attack President Obama head on, why not try to accomplish something together. That would show some class.

What's the "sentence" for the crimes committed by Republicans over the past 8 years? Only 5 months? For tanking the economy, ignoring global warming, trashing the Bill of Rights...

Wow! We need tougher "judges"! And I think the American people won't let the Republican party off so easily.

"ignoring global warming"

Ah, yes the "global warming" that so many of you believe. Have you taken a look at what's been happening around you the past 10 years. The earth is COOLING idiot. That's why the "global warming" crowd has now changed the term to "climate change" so they can't get hit in the face with, god forbid, FACTS again.

Wake up people... it's a ruse to make money via legalized extortion and who do you think is going to pay for it? YOU AND ME!

Check out fat Al's bank account. He's laughing all the way to the bank on the lies.

Steele sure does elicit the comments huh?

Steve Lebowitz aka Justafacts.
Someone has to say it so I will.

Why the continue obsession with Gov. Ehrlich?

You call local radio shows, you post on local blogs and now you are going national with your obsession with him on the Daily Kos.

You are nothing but a one man band.

To Dave, the economy tanking was truly a bipartisan effort - Repubs spent like Dems, and Dems forced lenders to lend money to people who couldn't afford it; the globe is actually cooling now, which is why the PC argument has been changed to "climate change" - get with the program; the Bill of Rights does not apply to noncitizens. Please see how FDR and Harry Truman dealt with rights when they were in office. Oh and thank the Repubs for keeping the terrorists at bay since 9/11 - here's hoping Obama can say the same thing when his four (yeah, just four like Jimmy Carter) years are over. And what will the sentence be for four years of Obamanomics? Ask your grandkids who will inherit the debt.

Richard K, ask those GoreBots this question.
Have they ever heard of the "InterWarming Periods"?

No? Well, how about the "InterGlacial Periods"?

You see, there is no such term as the first but there is the second because the warm periods are more rare than the colder periods.

Humanity rose up and prospered ONLY during the WARM periods.

Ask them if they would rather live in a warming period or a cooling period.

Remember when half the N. American continent was covered with ice sheet?

Not how I want to live.

i hope the republican politicians filibuster the supreme ct. nomineee, thats the kind of action we want to see, don't worry about the latino vote, they vote demo. anyway.

Class!!!! what kind of class do you republicians show!!! As you said all you want to do is bring Obama DOWN.... what happen to working together? Mccain always looks like a sad litle puppy,have never heard him say a nice thing about Obama. I did not agree with all...but I did not go around talking smack avout him!!! grow-up..

how many african american republicans are on capitol hill?

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Headlines from The Baltimore Sun
About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
Most Recent Comments
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected