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. Chris

    Please Steele this is what most of the Republican party is about!! A bunch of Racist idiots!!!

    March 4, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    "Res ipsa loquitur"– the thing speaks for itself. And yet, there may be a kernel of truth at the core of all this high-end fearmongering.

    March 4, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Ethan

    Forget internal disciplinary action.

    APOLOGIZE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, SPEAKER PELOSI, LEADER REID, AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    March 4, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Stacie

    Ooop! Someone got caught. Unfortunate, BUT TRUE!

    March 4, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Lori in Texas

    It's OK if you're a Republican!

    March 4, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Kathleen

    Michael Steele is out of his league! The Republicans will throw him under the bus, soon!

    March 4, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    If only we could get this kind of coverage for Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Obama's special advisor on health care (and Rahm Emanuel's brother).

    Here's a quote from his writings: "services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

    This guy will be in charge of getting those 1/2 trillion dollars from Medicare.

    March 4, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Yes, it is unfortunate. EVERYTHING to do with the [R] party is unfortunate, including their followers....dimentia, delusion, and genetic contamination from lower life forms, it is all unfortunate

    March 4, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved or created at least 2 million jobs, cut taxes for 95 percent of working families, and made loans to over 42,000 small businesses.

    And the wackos still hate him? – I guess you'd have to conclude it's because he's black, it couldn't be because of his policies.

    March 4, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Dano

    No Mr. Steele what's unfortunate is that some members of the GOP seem to have the maturity and professionalism of a 14 year old. As far as mocking GOP donors, well that's up to them to deal with you as they see fit.

    March 4, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. jeremy.....Dallas...Texas

    Evil leaders leading evil party. When this party stop lies?

    March 4, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Dave

    The republican leadership has lost their way. Hopefully, most thinking individuals won't fall for their tactics.

    March 4, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. patriot

    This man has turned his back on decency.

    March 4, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Chris

    Actually what's unfortunate is it's content. Not the it was leaked, Chairman Steele.

    March 4, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. RNC is Evil

    The RNC/Michael Steele should denounce these photos and make a formal apology to the President. I said it before and I'll say it again, Michael Steele is an Uncle Tom and a pawn. The racists in the republican party only have in a leadership position to show people that they are "diverse." HA!!!

    March 4, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Jreekree

    We need to lighten up as a country. You can't walk across the street without "Offending someone" and I for one am sick and tired of all this political correctness.

    Get over and learn to laugh at yourselves like we out here in the real world do.

    March 4, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. RNC is Evil

    Pay close attention to the stars on the elephant in back of Michael Steele in the picture. There's a reason the stars are upside down. It's the symbol of a Baphomet. Do some research people. The republicans are evil people.

    March 4, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Jackalope

    Another glimpse into infantile, self-centered conservative consciousness.

    March 4, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Repugnants are Taliban

    The Repugliban have finally reached the bottom of the barrel. After trying incessantly to derail health care reform and seeing thier efforts coming to naught as the Democrats finally grow tired and bring the issue to vote all they can do is resort to fear mongering and buffoonery of the worst caliber, case in point the disrespect to the President this latest fund raising effort goes to. Then they try and distance themselves from what they know is the most reprehesible behavior they can stoop to. They are desperate, like trapped rats in a corner and they are running rabid. After this show down all doubts of Democrats in upcoming elections will fade and this is what Repuglibans know and fear the most, thier days are numbered and they are peeing all over themselves in fear, next they will begin turning upon themselves in a canabalistic frenzy of unknown proportions. This is the melt down of the most disgraceful and dispicable party to ever darken the halls of our national governement, this is the Greedy Old pigs at the best they can be, how can any American stand by and say they are proud to be a part of this clownery? Only the bigoted racist masses of the south and die hard right wing nutjobs of the Tea party and Oath takers, the two most treasonable groups in the USA today, anyone claiming to be a Repugliban should hold thier heads in shame and be afraid of the light of day lest anyone know who they are

    March 4, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. NC

    Nothing but a frat house mentality. No ideas just acting like juveniles. I will never vote republican again.

    March 4, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Jill, California

    If this were reverse, Steele would be screaming for someones head. This was deliberate, and spineless Steele will do NOTHING about it. He wouldn't even stand up to Limbaugh. He's a pathetic excuse of a leader for a party who needs a makeover.

    March 4, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Peter E

    Yes, because after the GOP tolerates images of Obama as Hitler, and openly in congress refers to democrats as nazis, communists, etc., we suddenly pretend that refering to democrats as cartoon characters and republican donors as somehow ego-driven is what's offensive?

    March 4, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Tony in Maine

    ...and of course the whole thing was a joke taken out of context by humorless liberals bent on destroying the reputations of fine upstanding staffers...

    March 4, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Dee Dee Lynn

    Is anyone surprised that the GOP is so cynical that it even mocks and disdains its own supporters? I think its consistent with everything else they do. They are very fond of double-speak and they are experts at preaching one thing and practicing another.

    March 4, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    GOP to GOPers: You are cash-dispensing, easily-manipulated useful idiots.

    GOPer: Please take my money.

    You morons deserve each other.

    March 4, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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