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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Stop trying to play the race card Steele. I fell in love with the President at the 2004 DNC Convention. He gave the most compellign speech I ever heard in my life. I knew from that moment alone he was going to be the next POTUS. Some people got it and some people don't. It really shows no class that Steele would even bring up Rev. Wright. I don't hear Gov. Kaine pacifying Sara Palin over her witch craft preacher.

    May 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Dustin

    1. His comments will draw a crazy amount of criticism, from all directions.

    2. ...I think we should all take a moment, whether you support Obama or not, and think back on the campaign...maybe Steele is right on this one.

    May 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. You Idiots!!

    Um Michael Steele, what do you stand for? The President is being exactly who he said he would be. He isn't a crazy liberal, though the republican party tried to paint him that way, and neither is he a ultra conservative. Just chill out, let the man have his 8 years. Get your on beliefs and worry about your job which you probably will not have next year this time.

    May 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. Susan

    Wow.... I am sitting in a Master program, just like everybody else. I have to make the grade. I have not received anything just because I am black. I am paying my dues... That's really irresponsible to say such a thing..

    May 22, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    He believed he could beat the GOP and he did! Get over it and stop dumping on our President and this Country. Obama "gets" the American People... he understands what they want. He doesn't believe it is his job to dictate to the American People or manipulate them.

    May 22, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    I am black and has Steele lost his mind? He is am embarrasment. It is one thing to have constructive critisism...another thing to make racist comments...even if you are of the same race. He is the modern equivalent of a house negro.

    May 22, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Wayne H.

    Hey Michael, Rush Limbaugh called. He said drop what you're doing and come refresh his mint julep...

    May 22, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Melissa

    Who the hell is Steele to talk? What an arrogant, self centered, worthless Rethuglican he is.

    May 22, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. RCasson

    This guy is pure scum. I can't believe a black man would say this. As a black woman, Steele disgusts me. He's being used by the GOP and doesn't even know it. I used to pity him, but after reading this, I only hope he ends up with the rest of the Republicans...beat.

    Rosalyn Casson
    PROUD Obama supporter. Yes, we DID!!
    Los Angeles, CA

    May 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Mary

    Maybe Americans fell in love with him because he hasn't been corupted by Washington yet.

    I don't know a darn thing about Michael Steele.

    May 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Maggie

    Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Mr.Steele. You are so right.

    May 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. Indy

    And Steele is not where he is now because he is Black??? At least the Republican party is regretting their choice. I don't think that those who voted for Obama are regretting that.

    May 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. Rick

    Nooow the RNC is getting their money's worth. The only reason they voted for you Mr. Steele is because YOU'RE black! (Like a polar bear, but that's OK.)They knew they wouldnt get away with saying ridiculous stuff like this, so they hired the guy who everyone thinks is black. Michael Steele.

    May 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. twitter_this

    What! This man never seems to amaze me ... does anyone knows what is going to say before he opens his freaking mouth. STUPID!

    May 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. not-unAmerican

    Poor mr steele

    May 22, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. Mark

    For a man claiming to wanting to look forward he sure seems hell bent on parroting statements from the 2008 election.

    You are a real idiot to still claim this kind of stuff with the kind of scrutiny Obama has undergone from the media, especially Fox/Faux News.

    May 22, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Adam Butkus

    Steele is an idiot. I can't wait to see how he screws up the midterm election for the Repugs ... it will be fun to watch.

    May 22, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Wilks

    Correction, "Bill Bennet's radio program IS as hyper-partisan as anything out there..."

    May 22, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. AVR

    The man was strongly scrutinized during the primary against Clinton and then in the General Election against McCain.

    What is Steele talking about?

    May 22, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    Yep, the only thing I saw was a black man and I told myself, what the hell, why not.

    Steele sounds more and more like a petulant teenager who finds himself always the last one to be picked during gym class.

    Memo to Steele: The primaries are over. Mr. Obama IS the president.

    May 22, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. drman

    Pres. Obama was vetted by the majority of Americans that voted him into office in November. Steele should be thrown out of his position. He serves only to help GOP destroy our great country.

    May 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Len

    Wow! The RNC is unreal! The Republican party is history in 2010 and 2012!!

    President Obama was vetted by the press and others more than any resent President in history! Remember the primary and the national election!

    We should have vetted President Bush! Wow! The Republicans really vetted Governor Palin!

    May 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Cheese&Whine

    He's trying to lose his position, isn't he? He said the era of Republican apologizing was over but then says idiotic things he has to apologize for bi-weekly.

    Oh and Mr. Steele, you owe us an apology for the last 8 years, 2 wars, trillions in debt, torture, and the list goes on....

    May 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. cece

    Steele speaks the truth.

    May 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. carlo

    Someone needs to treat Steel like a sick horse and put him out of his misery. Fire the man before he does any further damage.

    May 22, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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