Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele vowed Tuesday that the GOP will confront President Barack Obama more aggressively and directly, regardless of his popularity in the polls.
“We are going to take the president head-on. The honeymoon is over. The two-party system is making a comeback, and that comeback starts today,” Steele said in remarks to an RNC meeting in Maryland.
“The president is personally popular. Pity the fool who paid for a poll to figure that out,” Steele said. “So…what’s the loyal opposition to do with this popular president? We are going to speak truth to power. We are going to speak directly, and we are going to take him on.”
Steele said that he has heard from many advisors suggesting that he take on less popular Democrats than the president, but the RNC chair said that the party will no longer “avoid confronting” Obama.
“They suggest that instead we should go after Nancy Pelosi, whom nobody likes. Or Harry Reid, whom nobody knows. Or this Tim Geithner fellow, whom nobody believes. Or maybe even Barney Frank, whom nobody understands,” he said.
“We are going to challenge those policies that we believe are wrong, and we are going to do so without apology and without a second thought.”
While promising a more aggressive approach, Steele also insisted that Republicans will show “class” in countering Obama.
“We are going to take this president on with dignity,” he said. “This will be a very sharp and marked contrast to the shabby and classless way that the Democrats and the far left spoke of President Bush.”
Steele also said that the “corner has been turned” for the GOP and predicted a Republican resurgence.
“The Republican comeback has begun. It is underway, and it is not in Washington,” he said.
In traveling the country, Steele said he has seen a stronger party than the one portrayed in Washington. He credited last month’s anti-tax “Tea Party” protests with providing a boost to the party’s grassroots.
“This change comes in a tea bag,” Steele declared.
In addition to cheering the grassroots Tea Party movement, Steele urged the party to find fresh ideas and new strategies.
“Our success will not be found in dusting off old campaign manuals from the 70’s and 80’s,” he said. “Our success will be found in speaking directly to the American people about a rebirth of the American Dream for this generation and generations to come.”
“The Republican Party is again going to emerge as the party of new ideas,” he added. “It will take some time, for sure, but it is beginning now.”