March 3rd, 2010
07:14 PM ET
11 years ago

RNC distances Steele from controversial fundraising presentation

Washington (CNN) – A spokesman for the Republican National Committee sought to distance Chairman Michael Steele Wednesday from a controversial fundraising presentation that was first reported by the Politico.

RNC Communications Director Doug Heye sent an email to GOP allies, prior to the Politico posting the story on its Web site, telling them that Steele had never seen the document which portrays President Obama in clown makeup with a banner that said “Socialism.” The RNC document also likened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Disney character Cruella DeVille and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to Scooby Doo. According to Politico’s report, the document said that without control of the White House, the Senate, or the House, the RNC should pursue a fundraising strategy focused on saving “’the country from trending toward Socialism!’”

“The document was used for a fundraising presentation Chairman Steele did not attend, nor had he seen the document,” Heye said in the email to Republican allies that was provided to CNN. “Fundraising documents are often controversial. Obviously, the Chairman disagrees with the language and finds the use of such imagery to be unacceptable. It will not be used by the Republican National Committee – in any capacity – in the future.”

Heye provided the Politico with the same quote for its story.

The DNC seized on the opportunity to criticize the RNC over the fundraising presentation.

“This revealing document proves what the Republican party has long denied,” Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a written statement. “But now, by their own admission, the express strategy of the Republican party is not to offer new ideas, but ‘fear.’ Republicans can no longer deny that they are peddling fear when they are literally selling it as their path back to power.”

Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Greg Hodges

    The only difference between Republicans and the fascists that took over Germany in the 1930`s are the brown shirts. Their bully boy mentality and insatiable lust for power in the extreme are nauseating in the extreme. I would say shame on them; but they obviously don`t know the meaning of the word shame. Thank God that I live in Canada ; where such disgusting fear mongering would never find a place in any civilized debate. I am really starting to pity Americans; as this a sad excuse for political leadership. First the Republicans make a mess of things for 8 years; then do everything humanly possible to prevent Barack Obama having a prayer of fixing anything. PATHETIC !!!

    March 3, 2010 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  2. harold

    Sen. Bunning is going to have some more surprises for us before he retires at end of the Year.. He dislikes Sen McConnell.... and McConnell office is spreading the word that Sen. Bumning is a litttle off .. eccentrenic at least.. Maybe so.. Where was he during the 8 years of Bushs raid on the Treaury by borrowing the money to pay for Two Wars......just so Bush could get elected as President..

    March 3, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. Dr Matrix

    So who is running the RNC if Steele knows nothing about this presentation. Maybe they cleared it with Rush, Hannity, Beck, et al and didn't waste anytime with their cerimonial figurehead.

    March 3, 2010 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. Ryan

    These idiots need to GROW UP!

    March 3, 2010 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. C.Z.

    I Support The GOP!

    March 3, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. A Southern Lady in Raleigh

    If it is sleezy, underhanded, probably mis-quoted or completely untrue - it is a Republican announcement.

    March 3, 2010 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. Lynn

    Don't know about Steele being responsible, but I for one have received these types of disgusting e-mails several times over the past few months. The internet is is a valuable tool for sleazy politics..

    March 3, 2010 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. Slider

    So Obama's a clown.

    Who knew?

    If I were a tub-thumping water carrier for the Democrat party like CNN, I would be more interested in what Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated today about Republicans campaigning on repealing the healthcare bill if it passes.

    Oh, that's right.

    CNN never reported what McConnell said.


    March 3, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  9. WAW

    The "Corporation Republican" has started early. College students need to take note. Unemployed Christians need to take note. Foreclosed prior homeowners need to take note. Parents with no insurance for the children need to take note. Look up what you call a party that is owned and controlled by corporations. Those who live in glass mansions shouldn't throw anything!

    March 3, 2010 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Tom


    If this was done by the Dems, the offending info/video/etc would have been posted here for view by all.

    March 3, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  11. jbakaregit

    What else is new?

    Vote Democrat or Independent come November.

    March 3, 2010 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  12. Ethan

    The Republican Party is so morally bankrupt its really not funny. Note the lack of apology. Disgusting people. The Republican Party just has no decency. They simply do not care.

    March 3, 2010 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. phoenix86

    The RNC should not apologize. With the exception of Hillary Clinton, who has quickly been marginalized, the Obama administration is the most inept leadership team on the planet.

    March 3, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. Dis Gusted

    Curious how they claim Steele's innocent after the fact. I could never vote for another Republican due to the childish behavior they have demonstrated since they lost the election. These people are supposed to be grownups!! LOL

    March 3, 2010 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  15. Kathleen

    Why didn't RNC just admit that "one of their own" sent the pictures to Politico! Let's face it, it sounds like something they would do. They
    are like "little boys" that play games with people. How can they play fair when they are losing. Yes, I say losing. They KNOW the Tea Party don't "even" like them!!!!! The Republican Party will fail! In November,
    the House will be cleaned out. All of the Politicians, Dems or Reps
    will lose, especially the one who took money from Lobbyists bribing them for their vote! It will be mostly new ones, It is over for most incumbants. Except for the good ones.
    I like Obama and the ones that are fighting for Health Care Reform, I am a senior, but I think people should be treated with repect and fairly.
    They better vote for this bill.

    March 3, 2010 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  16. Kathleen

    Eventually, and soon, the RNC will through Michael Steele and others from the BUS!!!!! They are not faithful to anyone!

    March 3, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  17. Crazy Cat Lady

    Republicans: "Oops - did I say that in my out-loud voice?"

    March 4, 2010 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  18. Zorro. . .

    RNC. . . blooming idiots

    March 4, 2010 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    Mr. Woodhouse's deceptive statement about Republicans is based on the false premises that one must constantly come up with new ideas–Change–and that all fear is bad.
    Many old ideas, such as freedom, are wonderful, and fear of king cobras will save one's life.

    March 4, 2010 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
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