December 8th, 2009
12:37 PM ET
6 months ago

GOP head demands apology for slavery remark

RNC Chairman Michael Steele said Tuesday that disagreements with Democrats over health care reform have 'nothing to do with the historic roots of slavery.'
RNC Chairman Michael Steele said Tuesday that disagreements with Democrats over health care reform have 'nothing to do with the historic roots of slavery.'

(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele Tuesday demanded that the Senate Democratic leader apologize for invoking slavery as he criticized Republicans for their opposition to passing health care reform.

"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans can come up with is this: Slow down, stop everything, let's start over," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Monday.

"If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right," Reid also said from the Senate floor. "When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said slow down, it's too early, let's wait, things aren't bad enough."

Steele, the RNC's first African-American chairman, took exception with Reid's remarks.
"It was not a sober moment for Harry Reid at all," Steele said Tuesday morning on CBS. "It was an ignorant moment.

"I'm kind of sick and tired of the left and Democrats in this country. When they get into trouble and don't get their way and their backs are up against the wall on legislation or whatever it is that they're trying to do, they go to that card. They play that race card, that slavery card, that civil rights card."

Steele added that disagreements with Democrats over health care reform have "nothing to do with the historic roots of slavery."

The RNC head said Reid "needs to go to the well of the Senate, take it back, and apologize for offending the sensibilities of the American people on something so important."


Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Royster

    Micheal Steele plays the RACE CARD. How convenient.
    The Dems should be demending STEELE'S apology for having the baseness to politicize his own race.

    December 8, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Larry S

    The comment is OK . . . since it is coming for a liberal democrat, there is no problem with spewing hatrid comments. Common response . . . and the next thing he will be blaming his comment on someone else.

    December 8, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Michael K

    If Steele wants an apology, maybe he should get Michelle Bachman to apologize for suggesting congresspeople be investigated for anti-Americanism, Or how about Sarah Palin for lying about Death Panels. Or all the adulterous republicans who took such a moral stand when Bill Clinton showed his weakness and they all though he should resign.

    These guys are lying weasels who apparently have no sense of ethics and instead only a sense of partisan aggrandizement.

    December 8, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. mark

    ouch!!!! truth hurts doesn't it! the hypocrates in the republican party get a smack down and they can't take it!

    December 8, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. linda glenn

    yes!Micheal Steele is a sellout. he would not have if it wasnt for OBAMA. and HELL no REID should not say hes sorry because hes telling the truth.

    December 8, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Lance

    I have significant problems with the bills proposed. I don't think that their funding is real or sustainable (the former head of the CBO called the bills "fiscally dishonest.") I think that some of the insurance regulation is ill considered and will lead to higher premiums and actually drive people from insurance, and I disagree with raiding Medicare to the tune of half a trillion dollars. I want good reform and don't think that I am getting it. Does that mean I support slavery, oppose civil rights and want to deny women the vote? Disagreeing with Reid does not make you a devil, it makes you an informed and concerned citizen. His hyperbole is intended to prevent informed debate in the fear that people will stop their partisan bickering long enough to actually see that his bill is lousy. How about we not ask him to apologize and instead ask him to stop grandstanding and obfuscating and instead do his job?

    December 8, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. linda

    Do the Republican Party of "NO" members have better things to do than misconstrue everything that is said to make false statements,
    to slow down the legislative process, to attack everything our new
    President is attempting to improve.

    8 YEARS OF BUSH/CHENEY – THEY PUT OUR COUNTRY IN THE COMMODE WITH THE HELP OF THEIR REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF
    CONGRESS. THEY DESTROYED AMERICA, AND ARE NOT SITTING BACK COUNTING THEIR OIL PROFITS.

    REID: Do whatever you need to do to get things done, including reconciliation on health care. STOP THESE MANIACS, INCLUDING
    STEELE WHO HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN FLAP HIS
    LIPS

    December 8, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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