March 4th, 2010
02:59 PM ET
5 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. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Michael Steele in the past has ignored this type of action in the past and didn't speak out and now it's been put in his face. Wakeup Michael Steele, these actions were meant for you as well.

    March 4, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. JS

    A failed chairman of a failed party... Republicans and their "leadership" are conceptully bankrupt and morally bankrupt. This leaked memo was not "unfortunate". I would say "informative" and "enlightening" would be better descriptions.

    March 4, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Angie in PA

    Their donors are compassionate hahahahah lolololo funniest thing I have heard all day since when is big corporate lobbyist compassionate? hahahahah oh Steele!

    March 4, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. richard

    I can,t believe that this was leaked. The Republican Party owes Scooby Doo an apology!

    March 4, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. JA/TN

    the state of intellects, for small groups is ok, or even better, you buy into their ideaologies, convenient truths

    March 4, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    They use unknown people and hate and fear spreaders like Palin to do their dirty work and then swear their hands are clean,

    Been happening a long time now. They even enlisted Tancredo not long ago.

    Sneaky little slithering snakes.

    March 4, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Me

    Harry Reid as Scooby Doo is really insulting to Scooby Doo.

    March 4, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Jilli

    Yeah, it's unfortunate that republican tactics were plainly revealed. The fear mongering and slanderous imagery on full display by a national political party.

    It's also unfortunate that your contributors now know exactly what the rnc thinks of them.

    It's not unfortunate, it's pathetic.

    March 4, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Paul Ernest Show

    How the republican party wins elections, I do not know. Their low-down dirty, extremist, selfish, intolerant, coldness, is historic, and yet the get support. It just goes to show how unenlightened many of us are in America. We are unable to discern fraud from real concern and real patriotism. The fraud party of America will continue to operate with its evil ways until we all wake up and see the true nature and mode of operation of this party.

    March 4, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Lois in CA

    Republican Party: A group so elitist they mock their own membership. Perhaps they should pass out condoms with Cheney's picture on the wrapper. That way, at least they would reproduce.

    March 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. geecee

    Expect no less from the Repugnantcans and their pundits than nasty caricatures of their opponents or anyone else they don't like or who gets in the way. That's how they roll. Obnoxious, hateful, fear-mongers are who they are. They are dividing this country constantly with their hateful, deceitful and distorted rhetoric; and they never give Obama's Administration or the Democrats one ounce of credit for anything that happens that is positive. They will oppose and obstruct as much as possible to get this administration to fail. Most rational people are onto them and their dirty tricks. That's just who they are. They just repeat hateful comments and rumors about people you don't like and hope it sticks.

    March 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. RNC is Evil

    "Our donors are compassionate, concerned, activists out there who support a party that they believe in."

    You've been in Baltimore too long smoking crack Steele. Activists? More like extremists to me. And you guys wonder why you can't reach a diverse group of people. What idiots!!

    March 4, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Molly Weasley

    "Get to the bottom of it"? That's how all Republicans act, all the time. They stoke fear instead of policy. They never want to talk about real policy - they just make up stuff to scare people (see "death panels," "ramming things down people's throats," "military tribunals" with a handful of convictions vs. "civilian trials" with hundreds of convictions, "huge budget deficits" when Republicans created them in the first place, etc.).

    Now we find that they're also willing to insult their wealthiest donors. If I were a rich Republican, I wouldn't give the RNC a dime.

    Republicans aren't compassionate. Republicans are concerned about anyone but themselves.

    Where are the adult, principled Republicans of yesteryear?

    March 4, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Jim

    Funny how these look exactly like the posters at the Tea Party demonstrations.

    March 4, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. John

    what is unfortunate? the fact it was leaked or its content? Jerk!

    March 4, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. sycamore

    "ego driven" seems to describe the basic Rebublican mind thought.
    They seem to believe that they are always right no matter how hypocritical they are or how much their position is wrong in the face of reality.

    March 4, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. EBC

    I LOVE how Republicans use the word "unfortunate" when they get CAUGHT, CAUGHT, CAUGHT in the act.

    What a bunch of scum-bags.

    March 4, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. chuck

    This is really typical partisan trash you would find across the internet. It is not at all in line with legitimate political cartoons. It is several steps below. In the Rush Limbaugh world at least, it is O.K. to mock Barney Frank's speech impediment and to personalize attacks on members of the Democratic Party. No person in politics has been more slandered than Nancy Pelosi – not even Nixon! It is of course all coming from the testosterone driven conservative pundits who I'm sure would rather see her in a more modest role of cleaning the House rather than heading it. Now we know where some of this trash on the internet is coming from – R.N.C. power point presentations.

    March 4, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. steve

    Who is Steele trying to fool? This smacks of the same stuff he pulled in Maryland, when Robert Ehrlich and him were seeking to be reelected in 2006. For example, importing homeless blacks into Prince George's County on Election Day, paying them $100-300 to "volunteer" to stand near polls with signs ("Ehrlich-Steele Democrats") to give the false impression they had more local support than was the reality! the fradulent "Democratic Sample Ballot" to trick voters into voting "Republican"–actaully meeting with "volunteers" beforehand and then later stating he didn't know anythting about it. Here we go again, the media needs to start calling him out on this, last thing we need in this country is this kind of crap.

    March 4, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. jm for sc

    I wonder how much Republicans are paying the "Uncle Tom" to sit around and laugh as they make fun of the first black president of the United States? He should resign from that phoney position they have bestowed upon him.

    The reason Pelosi and Reid are hated is because they supported Obama. I have never heard so many negative things about the two of them until Obama became the front runner. This is truly a sad day in America.

    March 4, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. chubba

    "That is not the case for our donors. Our donors are compassionate, concerned, activists out there who support a party that they believe in."

    the kkk is compassionate and concerned?

    March 4, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. steve

    forgive the misspellings and "$100-300" should be "$100-130" and free meals per the Washington Post! Sorry

    March 4, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Gary

    Wah!!! Stop crying and start cutting spending. We need both Republicans and Democrats to focus on deficit reduction and job creation (in the private market, not government). Stop bickering....get off healthcare....stop cap and trade....stop this nonsense. WE NEED A BALANCED BUDGET NOW!!!

    March 4, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. I am the Great and Omnipotent Wizard of Rush and I Say . . .

    Hand meet Cookie Jar.

    March 4, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Fritz

    That's right. Show me your true colors now.

    March 4, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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