Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

GOP's Michael Steele brings 'Fire Pelosi' bus tour to Tampa

TAMPA — Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele rolled through the Tampa Bay area Monday in a big red bus emblazoned with the words: "Need a job? Fire Pelosi."

Its midmorning stop: a rally at the Hillsborough County Republican Party Victory Office near downtown Tampa, where he urged a crowd of about 100 to elect Republicans to Congress to overcome Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority.

He briefly shared the stage with Mike Prendergast, who hopes to defeat Democrat Kathy Castor in the District 11 race in November, and Dennis Ross, who wants to replace Republican Adam Putnam, now running for agriculture commissioner.

"This is the new generation of Republican leadership," Steele said. "Your only requirement is to get them to win."

Steele also gave a shout-out to Republican candidate for governor Rick Scott and U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio.

During his 15-minute speech, Steele focused on reining in government spending and entitlements, asking people in the crowd: "When you got up this morning, did you look in the mirror and say to yourself, 'All I want is to be dependent.' It's not in your DNA."

Steele encouraged people to knock on doors, make phone calls and wave signs to get Republicans elected.

The message resonated with those who came to see Steele, who is crisscrossing the country before the Nov. 2 election.

Toni Armstrong drove from Apollo Beach. She said she became politically active after losing her job as a computer consultant 18 months ago. She said she wants to see conservatives elected who will lower taxes so business owners can start hiring.

"They don't have a clue about what's going to happen next year with the taxes and health care," she said. "I don't blame them for not wanting to hire."

Tampa resident Harold Moore, 68, said over the years he has paid his taxes, mortgage, medical insurance and credit card bills. Now he said he is being asked to pay taxes to help people who haven't done that.

"The government is shifting the burden to the responsible," he said.

In St. Petersburg, the bus lumbered toward the Pier after 2 p.m. "I think that might be it! That's a big red bus!" said Betty Renfro, 70, who stood with Dee Byrne, 71, and Laural Snowden, 68, hefting Rubio signs and wearing T-shirts for state House candidate Larry Ahern.

Steele told about 75 supporters to "take this feeling" and "make it infectious."

"That energy, that passion, that fire, it's hotter than the heat here in Florida, and you need to take that and get it on the street. And when you do, guess what: We win, they lose," he said.

Asked how his bus tour compared with others, such as the conservative Tea Party Express, he said: "It's all complementary. I think every group out there, every individual out there, is identifying their own way to express their frustration with the debt, to express their anger with being ignored by the administration and the leadership in Washington. This is just one manifestation of that."

GOP's Michael Steele brings 'Fire Pelosi' bus tour to Tampa 09/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more


    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  2. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux


    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Hailed as 'pioneers,' students from St. Petersburg High's first IB class return 30 years later


    ST. PETERSBURG — The students came from all over Pinellas County, some enduring hot bus rides to a school far from home. At first, they barely knew what to call themselves. All they knew was that they were in for a challenge.

    Class of 1987 alumni Devin Brown, from left, and D.J. Wagner, world history teacher Samuel Davis and 1987 graduate Milford Chavous chat at their table.
  4. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay


    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …

  5. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals


    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.