May 22nd, 2009
02:16 PM ET
8 years ago

Steele: Obama wasn't vetted because he's black

Michael Steele said Friday that President Obama 'came out of no where.'

Michael Steele said Friday that President Obama 'came out of no where.'

(CNN) - Days after announcing an "aggressive new approach" in confronting President Obama, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Friday that the president hadn't been properly vetted because he is black.

"The problem that we have with this president is we don't know him. He was not vetted, folks. He came out of nowhere," Steele told listeners to Bill Bennett's radio show Friday morning. "....We don't know his political background, we don't know his political philosophy, the ideology that shapes his thinking on policy.

"He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office. 'Oh gee, wouldn't it be neat to do that? Gee, wouldn't it make all of our liberal guilt just go away? We could continue to ride around in our limousines and feel so lucky be alive and in an America with a black president,'" said Steele. "Okay, that's wonderful - great scenario, nice backdrop. But what does he stand for? What does he believe?

"And that's why I keep going back to the point, the missed opportunity was dissecting and understanding Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright," he added. "It wasn't about Rev. Wright, it was about the philosophy that emerged and the directions that he was given, the lessons he learned at his knee. We never got a chance to understand that. People got lost on what Wright said about America instead of focusing on what Obama understood from what Wright was saying, so that you could understand and track that political philosophy. So we don't know. We just don't know."

Steele - who said last weekend that "like a bad diet, liberalism will kill you" - told GOP leaders this week that the era of Republican "apologizing" was over.

Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. typical!!

    The absolute disperation of the Republican party is becomming more and more entertaining!! I cant wait to hear what Mr. Rogers, aka Jindal has to say too! These guys are hysterical!

    May 22, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. kraptv

    You have GOT to be kidding me. Does he realize that he is the HEAD of the republican party and not a radio talk show host who can say and do whatever he wants (see Rush Limbaugh)?

    His "strategy" is going to backfire – bigtime...

    May 22, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Wow, a black man playing the race card. There is something about this guy that tells me; he ain't black. He'd sell blacks into slavery if he had the chance.

    May 22, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. David Williams

    Oh, and being black had nothing to do with Michael Steele being appointed to the chairmanship of the Republican party. If you believe that, I have some swamp land to sell you.

    May 22, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. J.P.

    Finally! Someone said it.

    May 22, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. public opinion

    Michael Steele is a puppet for the GOP and an ignorant one at that. He has pretty much run out of talking points and is now coming up with these absurd comments.

    May 22, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Ryan Cincinnati

    You have to be kidding me! Are we as AMERICANS letting somebody like this even be in the spotlight.Where is David Duke?Maybe the Repuplicans will let him speak for them too!!

    May 22, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. VPDesign

    Steele, apparently neither were you! And I'm a registered Republican that voted for what you're calling an unvetted black president. Steele, you need to apply your namesake to that hole in your mouth....steel trap keep digging the hole deeper for any chance of Republican comebacks.

    May 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Republican voted for Obama

    Steele has no qualification to be the head of the Republican Party, He was choosen by the party to do exactly what he is doing. Use a blackman to go against the first black president. Very smart for the GOP but not too smart for M.Steele. He has no political future if he wants to be the puppet of the GOP.

    May 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Eric

    Wow, simply wow. This guy has to go. His speech, a mix a pure ignorance, crazy racist theories, delusions. Does he even realize that except for thinking gay marriage hurts small business, Americans have no clue what he stands for. And he accuses Obama of not having been vetted? This guy is a dangerous joke, the male equivalent of Cariboo Barbie.

    May 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Black Woman, Falls Church, VA

    Wow. I'm reeling.

    May 22, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. glacierdawg

    Mr. Steele has got to be kidding right?? Please!! This just shows that the chairman of the GOP has his head in the sand... with dialog such as this, the GOP is fading faster into irrelevance than I ever thought to see in my lifetime.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Well, one thing I do know...

    I don't know you, don't want to know you and wish you would just crawl to wherever your misappropriated campaign funds will take you.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. katiec

    What in the world will Steele and the GOP come up with next??
    They continue to be and act like total idiots.
    They get closer to self destruction every day and could not happen to more deserving politicians. And, of course, they continue to control the headlines regardless of their stupidity.
    With all the crisises that face our country all that comes out of them is nonsense.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Julia Littell

    Does Michael Steele read? Obama's background, political philosophy, and ideology are well documented in his books. Pick up a book, Steele, like millions of Americans did in order to learn about Obama for themselves.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. frank , pennsylvania

    What we need is constructive comments on how to solve the present economic crisis and security problems of this great nation, not destructive attacks on the president. Steele lacks etiquette, he lacks wisdom, he should resign immediately!

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. djb

    If you didn't know Barack Obama, maybe it's because you haven't bothered to read his books. I certainly knew more about his political philosophy, his ideology and his personal values before I voted for him that I know about any other of today's politicians or talk show hosts.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. Peejay

    Finally we know why Steele was elected chairman: None of the GOP's old white men could get away with saying this.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Vic

    Steele needs to get a life.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Claudia in Houson

    Steele is way out of character by playing the race card. We don't need this mess in our society, we already have too many problems. If there was any chance for Steele to bring in minority support to the GOP, well forget it. Steele is way over the top.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    uhhhh this is something I would expect out of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity......yet it's so stupid I guess the right clown for the GOP did make the statement. Gotta love the way this "new" GOP is headed so far.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Gravitas


    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Adele

    This guy is a joke. Obama ran for 2 1/2 years and you are saying we don't know him. LOL.

    May 22, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. bk

    I completely agree with Steele.

    May 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Gina in Racine Wi

    Michael Steele....the gift that keeps on giving. LOL.

    The more he runs his mouth.....the faster his Party continues to fall apart with all the hatred, lies and spin.

    And the quicker more Independents are turned off by them and keep voting Democratic.

    May 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11