Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele said Saturday that a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) official saying Steele was only chosen to lead the RNC because he is black underscores a tense relationship with race within the GOP.
“It’s the groupthink that has emerged within the party that has now poisoned the national dialogue,” Steele said on his SiriusXM show “Steele & Ungar.”
“To hear it come from a young man … a minority himself … it makes it even crazier,” Steele added.
His comments came the morning after Ian Walters, the communications director for CPAC, told an audience that Steele was only elected RNC chairman because “he was a black guy.”
Steele, who led the RNC from 2009 until 2011, recalled how he had to “fight every step of the way” to rise through the ranks of the party, noting that he had run for the chairmanship several times before he was chosen.
He said that he spoke Friday night with Walters, who offered him a “ham-handed apology.”
Steele’s comments on Saturday were not his first responding to the remarks. The former RNC chairman told the Observer on Friday that Walters’s comments were “painfully stupid” and showed a “lack of maturity and a lack of understanding of the work we did and the work we continue to do.”
Steele echoed that sentiment on Saturday.
“That’s reflective of the stupidity, the ignorance and the a-holeishness … that exists inside the party,” he said.
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