May 22nd, 2009
02:16 PM ET
8 years ago

Steele: Obama wasn't vetted because he's black

Michael Steele said Friday that President Obama 'came out of no where.'

Michael Steele said Friday that President Obama 'came out of no where.'

(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.


Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Mary Beth Shemeluk

    Could someone please get him a ticket to Alaska??!! He is not helping the Republican party in anyway. He makes me feel like I am listeningto the male version of Sarah Palin.
    Mary Beth Shemeluk
    Broken Arrow OK

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Caryn

    For the last and final time, can't Steele or anyone else in the Republican Party come up with any ideas? How do they expect people to listen to them when it is the same bashing, whining, complaining over and over again. Most "adults" don't put up with this from their children, why should we listen when it is coming from "leaders"?

    May 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Tri Wang

    I did the big gulp"uh did he just say that ? "
    wow

    May 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Jean

    Steele rocks!

    May 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    So I guess the two years between when he stated he was going to run for the nomination and the time he actually took office don't count for squat? These republican talking points are so outdated and overused; just like of the stale ideas you guys offer and the tactics you use; fear and hate. We’re American and we’re not buying…

    May 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Victor from Denver

    And why does this bozo think he became the RNC chief ? Uncle Tom – get back to the kitchen or the cotton fields.

    May 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Johnk

    yes that right now you are talking

    May 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Randy

    Mr. Steele, Obama has published two books and has endured one of the most rigorous campaigns in memory. How can you say he wasn't vetted? Who the hell are you anyway? Don't insult the intelligence of the vast majority of the American people who voted for a change and elected Mr. Obama our president. Your party was ousted for a reason, Mr. Steele. They don't stand for the real people.

    May 22, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Eugene Minter

    Mr. Steele,
    Your party is using you and you are too blind or ignorant to realize it.

    May 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Will-South Dakota

    Steele has just jumped off the ledge.......he's insane.

    May 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Reader

    Well, one way to find out about Obama is to read his books.

    May 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Stagger

    An interesting statement from a black man that came out of nowhere, was not vetted by anyone at all (as in a two year campaign and a national election) and people still don't understand what he is talking about...

    May 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. james

    If the media loved Obama just because he is black, how come they don't particularly care for you? Why don't you read Obama's books? They give a great insight to his philosophies. Or maybe you aren't into reading.

    May 22, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Simpliticus

    Obama has been vetted by the voters who wanted something more than George W. Bush provided. Steele is wrong again as usual!

    May 22, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Olivia

    I feel sorry for this guy. He has the most difficult job: to revive the GOP with tremedous liabilities (Bush-Cheney- Limbaugh, etc) but out of all he doesn't have the muscle nor a clue how to do it. He is too confused of being himself.

    May 22, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. P. Mathew

    I want to see the price of Steele's shoes. They must taste like hot chocolate or a prime cut of lamb for Steele to keep putting his foot in his mouth.

    May 22, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. desertique

    Who's Michael Steele? It seems like he came out of nowhere.

    May 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    I am convienced that Steele is an idiot. In fact he is a Republican Idiot. That is the worst kind of idiot. I hope he continues to lead the Republican party. Democrats need him in that position.

    May 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. KLK

    I bet the RNC wishes they would have vetted Steele.

    May 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    God help us...who ever thought Mr. Steele had some descency must be wondering by now...if not well democrats are thankful!

    May 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. jrzshor

    i won't bother reading the posts but i would bet that most of them didn't quite like steele's thesis.

    May 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Skip, a black man

    Yes, Yes.......someone with enough sense to bring it up,,,,,,,,

    May 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Sue, Georgia

    1) If Steele does not know "what Obama stands for? What does Obama believe? "until now, that means steele is living in a coma.
    2) Barak Obama is not the first Black American to run for the presidency,
    American People are smart and they chose the right one without looking at the skin color

    May 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Lydia

    Michael Steele is such an embarrassment on so many levels. Every time he opens his mouth I can only shake my head in utter disbelief. He is such a buffoon that he is beyond laughable. He is quite simply...pitiful!

    May 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I'm sorry, so sorry. On the one hand it makes me tremendously proud to be Black when I see President Obama.

    Then there's Steele! Michael Steele just makes me embarrassed to be a human being.

    May 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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