An official with the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday declared that former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele was only elected because he's black. It is stupid to sit there and say that we elected a black man chairman of the party and that was a mistake. "I just said that's not acceptable, it's not enough", Steele said.
"I wanted to talk to [CPAC chair] Matt Schlapp first, but I think it's painfully stupid what he said", Steele told the Observer.
Schlapp said that, while Walters's comment was in poor taste, Steele had been critical of the Republican Party under President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE and has not gotten "universal praise" from conservatives for his stewardship of the RNC. "If he feels that way I'd like him to come say that to my face. And then I'd like him to look at my record and see what I did", Steele added. I've participated in CPAC for many, many years, I've spoken at CPAC.
"It's the groupthink that has emerged within the party that has now poisoned the national dialogue as we saw play out in the campaign of 2016", Steele said on a special episode of his SiriusXM radio show "Steele and Ungar."
When Reid asked if he sensed the party has shifted toward openness regarding the views that Walters expressed, Steele, who was in charge of the party fro 2009 to 2011, said that is "clearly" the case.
"In all candor, Ian is my colleague and my friend and I'm not going to separate myself from Ian", Schlapp said, calling the "black guy" remark "unfortunate" and pointing out that Walters himself is a person of color. "There is no taking that back". Schlapp acknowledged it was not a great moment, but he argued out to Steele that he's taken his share of potshots at Republicans and that maybe there were other issues people had with his chairman ship.
STEELE: I've spent 41 years in this party. 41. "Forty-one. All right?" he told Schlapp.
"I'm surprised that people in the party still feel this way and look at the contributions that anyone would make to the party through the prism of race", he said.
STEELE: No, I can't. "Because the FCC won't allow it". During an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid, the longtime Republican said he had one of those "what the???" moments upon hearing what was said about him.