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. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    He was vetted by the public for nearly 2 years you idiot! Maybe YOU were not paying atteniton but I was.

    Wonder if Rush approved of his message today.

    May 22, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    It wasn't liberal guilt that led me to vote for Obama. It was a desire to change the failed policies that had led to the mess we're in now.

    May 22, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Eric

    This is too funny for words...

    May 22, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. SLM

    He wasn't vetted, but I'm not sure that is the reason. The media fell in love with him without asking any questions. The media walked all over Hillary to get Obama elected. They sure tore apart Palin, too bad they didn't give Obama/Biden the same fair treatment, chances are the outcome would have been different had we had all the facts about this little unknown trainee we now call President.

    May 22, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Bill

    If Steele would read both of Obama's books- Dreams... and Audacity...
    he would get a great idea of Obama the man- what has shaped him and his vision for making the world a better place. F'shizzle!!

    May 22, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Melvin

    Steele is a disgrace to Black America and America in general. He is the Uncle Tom of our generation and I feel even her own family is ashame of Im right now. PLus He is a moron who continues with the Who is Barack Obama? slogan of Palin. He is YOUR President Yes he is Black and smart and Love this Country and you can touch him because he is waht you wanted it to be but felt short because of your lack of insight and because you sell-out to the wrong team. Keep taking your are doing us a great favor Stupid

    May 22, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Al, Lawrence KS

    Well, that rambling should help expand the Republican party...except of course any minorities, and anyone who voted for Obama, and any reporter who covered the 2 year campaign in enormous detail. As much as I hope that Steele stays around for a while, to provide us with more of this insanity, I suspect that he will be gone after the next mid-term. He can't win more seats with this kind of dribble.

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. repugs need a break

    Steele don't you worry about being vetted, you will be gone in a couple of weeks. Keep talking, you are only impressing yourself.

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. DAN


    Is Steele mentally handicapped or something?

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Rush is a gas bag

    And Palin wasn't vetted because?

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Kevin in Ohio

    Can't wait to hear the liberal shredding of Steele that is sure to follow on this ticker. But no one can deny that Obama is the darling of the media, and always has been. The penultimate "Teflon President".

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. sparky

    I used to think that Steele was just stupid. Now I have come to believe that he has major personality issues. The amount of anger and hostility he displays toward Obama is more than that of a man with different solutions and a different political philosophy. The anger and self-loathing Steele displays borders on pathology. Or is it just that he's jealous of Obama's success?


    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. La Chatte

    Give it up, Michael. Obama is a done deal whether you or anyone else likes it or not. Not vetted because he's black? That comment certainly begs another question: How in the hell did the Repugs get you? Were you not vetted because you're black?

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Jeff

    So I guess this is the same reason why Michael Steele wasn't vetted as the head of the Republican party?

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. James K

    Yeah, like Bush was vetted. Son of a President, Yale and Harvard Business Grad....what did that get us? I read Obama's books and saw him speak before campaigning for him. If people feel he wasn't vetted, they have themselves to blame. The Obama/Clinton contest was about as thorough a vetting as you can get in politics.

    May 22, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Ryan

    The era of Republican "apologizing" is over? When did it start?

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Tami

    what an idiot.

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Average Joe

    Steele....just shut up. If you were so concerned about his background, why didn't you do some vetting of your own?????

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Moorefield

    Well said, Mr. Steele. I'm honored to be a conservative Republican, and I am looking forward to taking back this country and laying the groundwork for a better tomorrow. Palin 2012!

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Alan in Marietta

    Michael Steele has lost his way. The guy is a joke. He has no idea that he is being used by the GOSP (Grand Old Southern Party) to do its dirty deeds. Unbelievable. This guy is an oreo, a Tom, a step and fetch.

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. C.W. Spence

    As long as Steele and Cheney keep doing all of the talking, the Democrats don't have much to worry about.

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Rebecca

    I think Michael Steele is describing himself, and has a chip on his shoulder about how the GOP just uses him as a prop. "Look, we have a black leader too." Whoopee doo da. We didn't vote for Obama because he's black. We voted for him because he's smart and a leader we can be proud of. I can't say the same of Steele.

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Rush is a gas bag

    Oh yeah – TWO years on the campaign trail leaves a lot of questions because NOBODY was trying to find a way to derail his efforts. Please, this garbage about "who is he?" is OLD OLD OLD!

    May 22, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Matt

    The GOP just keeps digging a hole. Think now with Steele we can can call it a dead horse. This is just un American. I dont mind them being aggresive with questioning policy but it looks like we are gonna see character assasination by the good ole GOP and the token Steele

    May 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Skye

    Obviosuly vetting only seems to be an issue for the dwindling and ever decreasing, losing Republican party. Lets not forget more Americans pulled the lever for Obama than any other President in history.

    May 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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