(CNN) - Days after announcing an "aggressive new approach" in confronting President Obama, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Friday that the president hadn't been properly vetted because he is black.
"The problem that we have with this president is we don't know him. He was not vetted, folks. He came out of nowhere," Steele told listeners to Bill Bennett's radio show Friday morning. "....We don't know his political background, we don't know his political philosophy, the ideology that shapes his thinking on policy.
"He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office. 'Oh gee, wouldn't it be neat to do that? Gee, wouldn't it make all of our liberal guilt just go away? We could continue to ride around in our limousines and feel so lucky be alive and in an America with a black president,'" said Steele. "Okay, that's wonderful - great scenario, nice backdrop. But what does he stand for? What does he believe?
"And that's why I keep going back to the point, the missed opportunity was dissecting and understanding Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright," he added. "It wasn't about Rev. Wright, it was about the philosophy that emerged and the directions that he was given, the lessons he learned at his knee. We never got a chance to understand that. People got lost on what Wright said about America instead of focusing on what Obama understood from what Wright was saying, so that you could understand and track that political philosophy. So we don't know. We just don't know."
Steele - who said last weekend that "like a bad diet, liberalism will kill you" - told GOP leaders this week that the era of Republican "apologizing" was over.