March 4th, 2010
02:59 PM ET
4 years ago

Steele: Leaked RNC presentation 'unfortunate'

Congressional GOP aides expressed their frustration over their perception that Michael Steele is using his book tour to undermine the party's political message.
Congressional GOP aides expressed their frustration over their perception that Michael Steele is using his book tour to undermine the party's political message.

Washington (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Thursday condemned a now-public internal party document that mocks GOP donors, but he would not say if disciplinary action is being taken against the official who created the presentation.

The powerpoint presentation, leaked to Politico on Wednesday, described high-level Republican donors as "ego-driven" and claimed they could be enticed with "tchochkes." The document included a slide - titled "The Evil Empire" - with cartoonish images depicting President Obama as the Joker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Cruella DeVille and Harry Reid as Scooby Doo. Steele called the pictures "unfortunate."

"Those are images that were pulled off the internet, they've been out in the public domain for a while, and you know, a staffer was putting together a presentation for a small group of about nine or ten folks and thought that they would intersperse the presentation with humorous shots," Steele explained in an appearance on Fox News. "They are inappropriate shots."

Steele would not say who was responsible for the document, saying only that he has asked RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart "to get to the bottom of it." Bickhart is reportedly the staffer who made the fundraising presentation to GOP donors in Boca Grande, Florida last month.

Pressed on whether someone at the committee would be disciplined or fired over the matter, Steele said he is letting "the appropriate personnel process and procedures take place within the organization."

"Clearly it's not something that I would tolerate and certainly would not want presented to me, and we're dealing with it administratively," he said.

Doug Heye, the RNC communications director, told CNN there are no plans for either Bickhart or RNC Finance Chairman Peter Terpeluk to leave the committee as a result of the controversy.

"It is absolutely not true," Heye said in an interview with CNN. Heye added that "the chairman has addressed this internally and has ensured moving forward this will not happen again."

As for what actions are being taken by the chairman, Heye would not say. "We do not discuss anything that happens internally at the Republican National Committee as a matter of policy," he said.

Steele was asked in the Fox interview about the presentation's negative portrayal of Republican donors, to which he responded cryptically: "I was told that that is typical what people think about our donors, or think about donors generally." But, he added, "That is not the case for our donors. Our donors are compassionate, concerned, activists out there who support a party that they believe in."


Filed under: 2010 • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Ruth

    Rich, egotistical, racist republicans-what more can I say. ????? This is typical of the republican party.

    March 4, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Angela

    Honestly, not even a republican can say that they are shocked at this discovery. We are talking about a group of people that are now courting the tea partiers. Has not anyone seen the signs, banners and slogans these people present at their rallies? Honestly....how many times can you present Obama as the joker before it loses it's appeal or shock? Are you really surprised that a group of brainiac wannabes are using lower level schoolyard tactics to solicit GOP donors? Have you listened to the jargon used against Obama at any level function staged by the GOP? To call it juvenile would be insulting to all of the middle schoolers in the nation!

    March 4, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. JS007

    These idiots will keep demonizing the President and other public figures with whom they disagree until some wacko is motivated to violence by all this. How about showing some respect and coming up with some real ideas on how to help the country? Who is evil, the guy who's trying to give the middle class affordable health care or the corporate wh*res who are protecting the status quo?

    March 4, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Too True For You

    Just another manifestation of the immature contempt the GOP holds for people in general, apparently including their own financial backers.

    All politicians are hypocrites, but the GOP continues to find ways to achieve new levels of mendacity.

    March 4, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Kathleen

    Did you see those pictures. Shame on you Michael Steele!

    March 4, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Ken in NC

    Republicans have been caught with their britiches down. M. Steele should really feel good being the "TOKEN LEADER" of such a racist organization that not only cares nothing for minorities but they care nothing for their high dollar donnors either.

    They are not embarassed by this presentation but by the fact that it leaked. Steele has asked RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart "to get to the bottom of it." Bickhart is reportedly the staffer who made the fundraising presentation to GOP donors in Boca Grande, Florida last month. Is that not like asking the bank robber to be his own judge?

    I'm a Democrat so I don't understand how Republican justice is doled out.

    March 4, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. benintn

    Remember when they almost elected Katon Dawson as RNC chair? Before Mark Sanford was a known adulterer?

    March 4, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    One word - leaked - is wrong. STOLEN. This was not a public document,

    Also, what ever happened to free speech? That's right....democrats and liberals are against it, unless it gives rights to pornographers.

    Interestingly, the depiction of Obama is correct. He is a socialist who has surrounded himself with like-minded socialists and communists, all in the name of "Social Justice". That will lead us down a road that's already been a failure.... the Soviet Union.

    March 4, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. al in memphis

    Someone should call child protective services to see if we can prevent another generation from this kind of thinking.
    I don't know what is worst, someone thinking this would motivate or connect with their donors or fact that people who think this way has access to money.

    Too bad money and stupidity are not like opposite ends of a magnet.

    March 4, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Sgt. USMC

    What else is new?

    They have been at this since 2008.

    This is what the GOP does to motivate there fear mongering, hate driven, right wing extremist.

    I got over it a while back.

    Let's get them back and beat them in November!

    March 4, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Ross

    I wanted to get into politics, even if mom said stay away from crime.

    March 4, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. joel palmer

    Uncle Tom Steele apologist in chief for the racist party of Amerika aka the gop

    March 4, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Hi I'm TriG, and my mommy scares me :-(

    Man I wish it was 2002 so we can go ahead and say they are commiting treason.

    But now that a negro has the Presidency, it's all fair game.

    March 4, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Kathleen

    Should the Democrats act like that, they would never receive the support that the Republicans do! The Democrats, acting this way, would be the ruin of the Democratic Party, which is what they are trying to do.
    Should Republicans win the majority, our country will become the very "socialist system" they accuse Obama of being. Socialism is
    when the Rich get it all, well, it may or may not "trickle down". And the less fortunate get low wage jobs with their so-called minimum wage only it would be lower-then they can call underpriveleged Americans "lazy".
    NOTICE: They will never vote up on minimum wage because they are in favor of the Corporations profit, and when minumum wage comes up for a vote, with pennies for a raise, the bill has to include FAT
    CAT RAISES, OR THEY WON'T VOTE FOR IT. That is socialism!

    March 4, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. anotherGDlefty

    @ Kevin in Ohio.........

    Wow dude, you are off your rocker.

    Nothing was stolen, they left it behind.

    On a side note, turn of Rush.....You cannot be aa socialist AND a communist at the same time.....

    March 4, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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