Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Sunday that he has been in rooms with white Republicans who are “scared” of him.
Responding during a interview to TV One’s Roland Martin, who said that “white Republicans have been scared of black folks,” Steele replied: “You’re absolutely right.”
“I’ve been in the room and they’ve been scared of me,” said Steele, the first African-American RNC chairman. “I’m like, ‘I’m on your side.’”
Asked how Republicans can better reach black voters, Steele said the party needs to focus on “education and the economy” and credited Governors-elect Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia for running a message that could appeal to black voters.
Even if Michael Steele truly feels this way, I don't get how it benefits the party he's supposed to be chairing to say it out loud, much less to an Obama stan like Roland Martin. The GOP is already sensitive to politically-based charges of racism from the Left (most of which turn out to be untrue), they're in the congressional minority and there's still plenty of infighting going on between conservatives and moderates Republicans. Steele's job as RNC chair is to help unite the party, speak on its agenda and get funding, not engage in racial red herrings. Sometimes I guess he forgets that it was "white Republicans" who elected him RNC chair in the first place.