March 3rd, 2010
07:14 PM ET
7 years ago

RNC distances Steele from controversial fundraising presentation

Washington (CNN) – A spokesman for the Republican National Committee sought to distance Chairman Michael Steele Wednesday from a controversial fundraising presentation that was first reported by the Politico.

RNC Communications Director Doug Heye sent an email to GOP allies, prior to the Politico posting the story on its Web site, telling them that Steele had never seen the document which portrays President Obama in clown makeup with a banner that said “Socialism.” The RNC document also likened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Disney character Cruella DeVille and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to Scooby Doo. According to Politico’s report, the document said that without control of the White House, the Senate, or the House, the RNC should pursue a fundraising strategy focused on saving “’the country from trending toward Socialism!’”

“The document was used for a fundraising presentation Chairman Steele did not attend, nor had he seen the document,” Heye said in the email to Republican allies that was provided to CNN. “Fundraising documents are often controversial. Obviously, the Chairman disagrees with the language and finds the use of such imagery to be unacceptable. It will not be used by the Republican National Committee – in any capacity – in the future.”

Heye provided the Politico with the same quote for its story.

The DNC seized on the opportunity to criticize the RNC over the fundraising presentation.

“This revealing document proves what the Republican party has long denied,” Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a written statement. “But now, by their own admission, the express strategy of the Republican party is not to offer new ideas, but ‘fear.’ Republicans can no longer deny that they are peddling fear when they are literally selling it as their path back to power.”

Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. joe kiloz

    why ? the characters resemble the sorry idiots in actuality

    March 3, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. John

    Looks like the RNC is having a hard time keeping an eye on the idiot in charge.

    March 3, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. jeff in SF

    The interesting part of the RNC presentation was the part where they categorized their donors as being either small donors driven by fear, or big donors driven by ego. Way to show some respect for your supporters!

    March 3, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. IVOTE

    STEELE must be living in a dream world and can't see who and what he is party to. He needs to get his hat NOW.

    March 3, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    What's worse than this, is that the vast majority of Republicans, like these "ads" and believe, that President Obama is a socialist!

    Of course, the Republicans ALWAYS believe that Democrats are socialist! They called FDR that when he was pushing to establish Social Security! What else is new?

    March 3, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Antonio

    Public relations win! Faux won't cover this and the "visceral givers" will never find out.

    March 3, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. Ken in PIsgah Forest

    President Obama is the last person in this country I would call a socialist. He is any;thing but. He is the one out there saviing capitalism, just like Keynes did 78 years ago. Keynes was accused of being a socialist, too, but he made it quite clear what his motives were.

    March 3, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. John

    Perhaps chairman Steele should check with his party leaders (Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Ralph (the untruthful) Bonner) before he opens his mouth).

    March 3, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Shelly

    We, the People , voted for the President. We, the People, voted for the members of Congress to work for the American people and not to be a travelling circus. Republicans are wasting their time on this mockery of our President and our system. Americans are hurting and crying while the rest of the world is laughing at our silly behavior.

    March 3, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    This has to stop. We have a two party system in this country and one party is acting like mean spirited spoiled brats. And they're dangerous. They're using fear and outright lies to try to win back power. This is not good for any of us. Where the heck are the grownups?

    March 3, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. Nick

    You'd think that the GOP leadership would actually know the definition of socialism. But I guess that's not important when your only goal is power and not actually helping American citizens

    March 3, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    FEAR. That's all the GOP's ever had. What a repulsive bunch of people.

    March 3, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Former Republican, now an Independent

    When one criminal gets in trouble, all of the rats jump ship.

    March 3, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    For once, I'm speachless.

    March 3, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. lilacluvr

    Didn't know anything about it....sure, we've heard that one before. Sure sounds alot like those Tea Party signs that Fox News (the GOP Network) has promoted for many, many months. And it also sounds alot like the nasty comments I've heard many of the GOP leadership use in describing Obama, Pelosi and Reid. But, if the RNC says that Steele did not know anything about it, then that's good enough for me – NOT!

    March 3, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    I can't help it:

    Does nobody else see the irony that only the GOP could manage painting perfect caricatures of themselves by using disrespectful caricatures of the POTUS, Senate Leader and Speaker of the House to sell misleading caricatures of the issues?

    Irony 1,392,578: GOP 0

    March 3, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    The NO party sounds like a bunch of bullies that have no ideas of their own and can't think on their own so they use scare tactics and come up with stupid ideas (clowns, nazism) and people (quitter, limbaugh, beck) to spew their hate.
    It also sounds that most repugs agreed with bunning. Nothing says you care more than making sure people don't work and those unemployed don't get help.

    March 3, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. CMG

    Smartest thing those Republicans have done in a long time.

    March 3, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Debbie

    It will not be enough for the GOP to distance themselves. They must come out and denounce it!

    Go on to Politico and read it for yourself! Sick! Absolutely Sick!

    GOP clean up your act!

    March 3, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  20. Charlie in Maine

    BTW I heard about a mailing pretending to be the census form trying to raise money for the GOP as if they need it. I can't stand what the GOP has become. I used to just disagree with them now I actually fear them. I don't even recognize the party of Lincoln Eisenhower and Reagan. Even Nixon had his good points compared to these people. Think about it from Sen Roadblock to the birthers and the tea partiers. How ironic that the Democrats have finally found a leader that wants to work with them and they have decided on a "scorched earth" strategy. Why does a President who brings out the best in the Democrats and who is trying to bring out the best in America bring out the worst in the Republicans. Is it just jealousy?

    March 3, 2010 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  21. sincere

    Steele. You are a fool for chairing such a mockery of a party. You my friend. Are the real clown. I guess youre not the H.N.I.C. of the RNC. Lol. In the words of Bugs Bunny: "What a maroon." LMAO

    March 3, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. gary

    The Republicans have used fear sucessfully for years. When you have no ideas, you do what works. It is too bad they don't have better ideas instead of tearing down or demonizing their opponet.

    March 3, 2010 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. Andrew from West Palm Beach

    Wow. What was the RNC thinking? As an independent that was starting to lean toward the Republican party, this is disgusting and a complete turnoff. You've lost my vote.

    March 3, 2010 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. harold

    These Republicans are just plin goofy .. Calling the Obama people Socialists.. They did the same thing in 1935 when social security was made Law.. and the same for Medicare which they called Socialist.. They never learn a thing.. I suggest strip the republicans in Congress of their Health Inurance and tell them we will start over and try to get them Health Insurance less csotly to the Government .....But not until we get everyone covered with Health Insurance in the USA first.. How about it Republicans.. feel better now?

    March 3, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Bridget

    So the RNC won't use the document in the future? Too bad, and too late to take it back.

    March 3, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
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