Washington (CNN) - The organizational leader of the Republican Party is outright dismissing claims from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that the Tea Party movement is rife with racism.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele also said, in a statement, "Enough with the name-calling."
Steele is responding to the NAACP's resolution, passed on Tuesday, that condemns the Tea Party movement for what the NAACP believes is rampant racism from many activists. As head of the RNC, Steele - the organization's first African-American chairman – is essentially pitting the Republican Party against the nation's oldest civil rights group on this specific issue.
"Recent statements claiming the Tea Party movement is racist are not only destructive, they are not true," Steele began in his statement.
"Tea Party activists are your mom or dad, your local grocer, banker, hairdresser or doctor. They are a diverse group of passionate Americans who want to ensure that our nation returns to founding principles that honor the Constitution, limit government's role in our lives, and support policies that empower free markets and free enterprise," he said.
While everyday moms, dads and local service providers that Steele refers to certainly attend rallies and meetings for the conservative movement, the NAACP feels that some of them – but certainly not all – harbor prejudiced feelings towards minorities.
NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous said in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon on Wednesday, "Our concern is that we haven't seen [leaders]…come out and aggressively denounce people." His group does acknowledge that some leaders of the Tea Party movement have denounced racism within their ranks.
Steele is not the only Republican, who is also African-American, to criticize the NAACP's action.
Tim Scott is a GOP candidate running for the seat in South Carolina's First Congressional District.
In a statement released Tuesday, Scott said, "I believe that the NAACP is making a grave mistake in stereotyping a diverse group of Americans who care deeply about their country and who contribute their time, energy and resources to make a difference."
An ABC News/Washington Post Poll from April reveals widespread sentiment about the Tea Party movement. In the poll, 49 percent said that support for the movement is based on racial prejudice against President Obama. And 43-percent feel that is not fueling the movement.
The actual text of the NAACP resolution will not be released until the group's National Board of Directors have a full vote in October.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report