Lest anyone have lingering doubts that Republicans long ago rejected the values of the party of the late former President, Ronald Reagan, or that the only thing trickling down from that party is the kind of disreputable and vile racism on regular display from President Donald Trump, the Communications Director for the American Conservative Union, Ian Walters made a startlingly racist comment on stage at CPAC’s Ronald Reagan Dinner.
And it has to be seen to be believed.
“We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do.”
See him say it below:
WATCH: At the Ronald Reagan Dinner at CPAC, ACU Communications Director Ian Walters said the RNC hired Michael Steele as chairman in 2009 "because he’s a black guy." pic.twitter.com/g6YcyLET5w
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 24, 2018
The comment was reportedly met with gasps at least but remember: This is not just some fringe lunatic Trump supporter. This is the American Conservative Union’s Communications Director! This group is the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country, started in 1964.
The group bills itself as:
“…The leading entity in providing conservative positions on issues to Congress, the Executive Branch, State Legislatures, the media, political candidates, and the public.”
Today, those positions include overt racism, apparently.
The former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman who received the attack from Walters, Michael Steele responded saying the remark was “painfully stupid.”
“I wanted to talk to [CPAC chair] Matt Schlapp first, but I think it’s painfully stupid what he said,” Steele told the Observer.
“If he feels that way I’d like him to come say that to my face,” Steele added. “And then I’d like him to look at my record and see what I did. I can’t believe an official of CPAC would go onstage in front of an audience and say something like that. I’ve been a strong supporter of CPAC for many years and I thought they raised them better than that here.”
Whatever raising those conservatives had during the Reagan years, apparently that didn’t continue as soon as Trump took office.
On MSNBC, Steele was interviewed by Joy Reid, and further remarked on his shock that this was somehow acceptable to any Republican.
“…A little bit shocked, very disappointed. Surprised that people still in the party feel this way and look at the contributions that anyone makes to the party through the prism of race,” said Steele.
When asked if he thought the Republican Party had changed to become more open to such racist views, he responded unequivocally:
“Clearly, and I think that’s something that’s going to be concerning going forward,” said Steele.
Although Ian Walters apologized to Steele, making an excuse about the context with his thoughts on former President Barack Obama, Steele didn’t find the apology acceptable.
Walters took to Twitter and tried to rationalize away the comment as unintentional:
Sometimes when you speak, the words that come out do not reflect what’s intended. Many of us were critics of how Chairman Steele performed at the RNC. He is a good man, and he did his best.
— Ian B. Walters (@IanBWalters) February 24, 2018
Ian Walter’s horrible comment wasn’t the only horrible thing at CPAC, of course. The crowd chanted, “Lock her up!” again as they did during the presidential campaign. They chanted in spite of Robert Mueller indicting Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who encouraged and participated in that chant. They don’t seem to care that Flynn may soon be locked up himself.
Actor, Billy Baldwin, brother of Alec Baldwin, known for impersonating Trump, said of the many instances of disturbing Republican behavior on parade at CPAC:
LaPierre attacks FBI.
CPAC says Michael Steele only got job "cuz he's black"
Ingraham: "Dems are like herpes"
Loesch: "Legacy media loves mass shootings"
Trump attacks McCain… praises his bald spot.
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) February 24, 2018
See Michael Steele’s response to Ian Walters’ racist comments in the video below from MSNBC:
Featured image: Screenshots via Twitter.