RNC chairman Michael Steele on Fox after meeting with Tea Party activists:
MICHAEL STEELE TELLS FOX & FRIENDS: THERE "WAS NOT ANY TALK" ABOUT THE TEA PARTY "BECOMING OR CREATING A THIRD PARTY"
In an interview earlier this morning on FOX News Channel's FOX & Friends, RNC Chairman Michael Steele spoke with co host Steve Doocy about the Tea Party activists, GOP "mistakes," and the future of the Republican Party. Steele said "there was not any talk about becoming or creating a third party," when he met with Tea Party activists. In addition, he said he finds it "amusing," that when he meets "with groups concerned about the economy and the direction of the party they're called activists;" but, "when the President meets with those groups...they're called Senate Democrats."
Interview excerpts below:
***MANDATORY CREDIT FOX NEWS CHANNEL'S FOX & FRIENDS***
ON HIS MEETING WITH TEA PARTY ACTIVISTS:
"I can say, without really stepping out of any bounds here, there was not any talk about becoming or creating a third party. This is the frustration of citizen activists with a party that many had aligned themselves with over the years."
"I think when it ended we covered a lot of good ground, common ground that we can stand on. And people were feeling a little bit better about the direction we need to go."
"I found it amusing, when I meet with groups concerned about the economy and the direction of the party they're called activists. When the President meets with those groups that are concerned about the economy and the direction of the party, they're called Senate Democrats. So, I feel I'm in a better position right now."
ON REPUBLICAN "SPENDING LIKE DRUNKEN SAILORS" DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION:
"Absolutely, you learn from your mistakes."
"A big part of this process...between those who have become disaffected with the leadership of the party in the past, is to acknowledge where we have gone wrong, where we have made the mistakes: in spending in growing the size of government, in stepping away from those very constitutional principles and values that have certainly defined this party and its agenda for over one hundred years."
ON WHETHER THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WILL BECOME MORE "CONSERVATIVE":
"The biggest challenge for the GOP is not becoming more conservative, we are the conservative party of the United States...that is who we are. Our biggest challenge is staying true to who we are; and, recognizing those conservative principles that defined us in terms of how we define the role of government in the lives of everyday people. When we stay true to those principles I think we're on much sturdier ground."