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. Julia in Eugene, OR

    Um, Mr. Steele, can you read?

    President Obama is VERY clear on what he stands for and what he believes in his book "The Audacity of Hope".

    It's been on the bookshelves for awhile now, and it's even available in audio book format in case you are having a little reading trouble...

    Check it out. I dare you.

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

    Mr Steele , you should go back to bases and tell the American people what your party did in the last 8 yrs. of their adminstration. Mr Steele, they republicans are just using you as their tool to attack and whine to this current adminstration.
    I would advise you to go back to grassroot and come up with a different, more detailed principles and policies, if you want the republican party to resurrect again.
    Stop whining Steele and stop portraying yourself as an angry black man.

    May 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. jayceeg

    Steele, you are a joke. You are the one who was not vetted, and you are the one who got the job because you are black.

    May 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Drew

    It's sad but true. I've never seen anything like it the way that the media just fawned over and dismissed President Obama's past the way they did. That and the deliberate destruction of Sarah Palin's character made me realise the entire 2008 election year was a personal emotional investment by the media. If people can't see that they will just do it again next time around.

    May 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Mr. Davis

    "Who is this guy? "
    "It's Jimmy's brother the singer!"
    "Sing for us Jimmy's brother. "

    What a clown. Go complain to Grover about the fly in your soup.

    May 22, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. tee

    Get the freak out of here.........Is he serious........coming from a party, who obviously didn't vet Sarah Falin. Prozac is whats needed now.

    May 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Bitter Republican, party of no I mean one, your table is ready!

    And how do you explain Sarah Palin and her wacky church?

    You can't.

    And so the boy who cried wolf too many times is now being ignored.

    May 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Erin

    Wow!That's got to be one of the most comical things Steele has ever said.Is this the "aggressive approach"?Yikes.

    May 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Toxibe

    Gee, Michael, are you sure you were fully vetted before you were "selected" to lead the Republican Party?. Don't you think you were selected to be an antidote to the "Black President"?.
    All these cries about who Obama is and what he stands for is stale. It is one thing to dislike his policies, it is another thing to just "hate" the man himself. Remember, what goes around, come around.

    May 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Gene

    Was no Vetted? I guess he forgot about the months and months of constant investigations into everything Obama has done in his whole life by every single news station.. including Fox News with their false "going to school at a Madrasa" reports and such... most people were sick of all the investigations.

    Steele is an idiot

    May 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. AustHall

    Was Michael Steele "vetted" because he makes some of the most stupid statements, that I have ever heard

    May 22, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Tri Wang

    Soooo last year's talking points . I FEEL SICK to hear this. The people who believe this man these people are crazy. New Low GOP

    May 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. deb

    And people know who you are Mr. steele with your crazy self? Shut up, and the man is going to fire you very soon because you keep saying and doing dumb things.

    May 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Dean Dunham

    HOW PATHETIC! If Steele STILL doesn't know what Barack Obama believes or stands for, then he is:

    A. Deaf
    B. Has selective hearing and blocks out answers that go against the
    rigid right-wing ideology.
    C. Is just plain STUPID

    I believe "D" is the correct answer.

    May 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. JM

    Oh what B.S. Give me a break. Michael Steele is a complete and total idiot and a sore loser.

    May 22, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Concerned

    This is the first time I have ever submitted a comment to any organization or website. To that end, Mr. Steele is an embarrassment to our country and can’t be taken seriously. I wonder if he thinks the “black” thing was also applied in his election as RNC chair? Hmmm.

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Jean

    And Palin was because she is a woman. Sexist pigs.

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair


    Steele, you are perpetuating poor race relations. PERIOD.

    I'm a committed conservative, and the reason I didn't vote for this president was his ideology – NOT his race.

    Steele, for you to say he wasn't vetted because of his race is just plain wrong. It's time for YOU to apolpogize for that bonehead remark.

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Bushy

    How can you be republican and black? It doesn´t make any sense.

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Greg from MA

    Steele is ridiculous. Besides how obviously incorrect this is (he was vetted more fervently than McCain was, definitely), it's amazing to hear it coming from Steele.

    This is not going to help the GOP

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Kim

    So ignorant.

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Oregon calling

    CNN wll probably not post:

    Give me a freakin beak!! As if you were vetted?!?!!? What was all of the trash talk then when, NOW PRESIDENT OBAMA, was running for office? Pot meet kettle!

    Sorry to any person of any political party if I have offened you. I support our President!!

    Peace 🙂

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Chas

    Isn't this a case then of black calling a black – Black? Was Steele properly vetted or was he annointed (not appointed) to his post becasue he's black? The Rpublican party is becoming our next national nightmare!

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Jessica in IL

    Um, was this guy living under a rock during the entire run-up to the election???

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Keith

    Bush was vetted and look where it got us?

    May 22, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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