Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was attacked during he Ronald Reagan dinner at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference Friday night when Ian Walters, the communications director of the conference, said it was a mistake making him RNC chairman because of his race.
“We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do,” Walters said in a comment, according to Jonathan Levine of The Wrap.
CPAC communication director Ian Walters at Reagan dinner
“We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do”
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 24, 2018
Steele appeared on MSNBC following the attack and said he was shocked by it.
“Of course I had one of those moments where you just go, what the?” Steele told host Joy Reid. “So, yeah, a little shocked, a little disappointed. Surprised that people still in the party feel this way and look at the contributions that anyone would make to the party through the principle of race. It’s unfortunate, it’s stupid, it’s immature. And I’m waiting to speak to [conference chair] Matt Schlap about it.”
He noted he’s spoken at CPAC in the past and “I think also, Joy, to make up of what is going on in this country as well, and how quickly people revert to race as a weapon.”
“That’s the question I was going to ask you,” Reid confessed. “You have been a Republican a long time, do you sense that the party has changed and shifted toward more openness with these kinds of views in your view?”
Steele agreed with Reid, saying, “clearly” the party has moved in this direction.
“I think that is something that will be concerning going forward,” he continued. “It will play itself out during the campaign, and we did see that. So, it is sad, but look, we’re going to do as much as we can, and education starts from within.”
Take a look at the video clip below: