The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is in full swing this week. The event is known for liberal bashing but this time around one of their own seemed to be the target. On Friday night, there was a dinner honoring the patron saint of the Republican Party, President Reagan.
According to New York Magazine, it was there that the Director of Communications for CPAC, Ian Walters said:
We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do.
Apparently the dinner guests gasped, not only because the comments were so off color, but because Michael Steele was waiting in the wings. Steele served as head of the RNC from 2009-2011 before he was voted out in favor of Reince Priebus prior to the 2012 election. The comments made by Walters are the latest in the GOP's shift away from at least paying lip service to inclusion.
Steele responded by telling The Observer:
If he feels that way I’d like him to come say that to my face. 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.
People were quick to say they felt this reflected the state of the party at large:
Dear Republicans, you get called racist, which you undeniably are, because of crap like this. #CPAC's Ian Walters attacks Michael Steele, YOUR FORMER CHAIR, because he was black, among other UNDENIABLE racist comments. Search Walters comments. Here's a furious Steele... https://t.co/I7BNoyNUS7— The Matt McNeil Show (@MattMcNeilShow) February 24, 2018
Coming from Ian Walters at a convention of racists for racists, this comment is not surprising. I mean, come on, CPAC is like the poster org of racists. I bet Michael Steele will just take it on the chin and say "Yes suh" and move on, just like the good black he is!!!— Sebastian Ilamosi #Resist #FBR #NotMyPresident (@__SebastianI_) February 24, 2018
Walters shows a pattern of racism being fostered by the current administration. And if it was a white Michelle Steele what would he have said?— hrl (@firsttakes) February 24, 2018
A real President would condemn the racist comments made by Ian Walters about Michael Steele— (((DrBarakat))) (@PsychBarakat) February 24, 2018
Unfortunately you're NOT
Some tried to defend Walters:
If the Republican Party isn't Michael Steele's party anymore, why the hell does he care what Walters says? Because he's a professional pundit (MSNBC, Sirius XM Radio and anybody else who will write a check) who markets himself as a Republican.— Global Money (@goshortandlong) February 24, 2018
Ian Walters said we elected Michael Steele as RNC Chairman because he was a black guy and it was the wrong thing to do.— Mike (@mike_Zollo) February 24, 2018
Why are people flipping out about this? Michael Steele is a leftist, he should be no where near conservatism. This guy is just being honest.
Of course, the reason Michael Steele's taxes should be audited and what he would be prosecuted for doesn't seem to be clear, and this person seems to lack basic understanding of how our legal system works.
Luckily, it seemed that at least one conservative had their head on straight:
And this person probably nailed it:
Steele’s not shocked by what Walters said. Just that he said it out loud.— Patrick Albino (@patrickjalbino) February 24, 2018
Steele got plenty of support from Twitter users:
Steele is a better man than any of those disgusting slime trail maggots crawling around on the floor at CPAC.— E (@GehirnBergmann) February 24, 2018
Wow... Michael’s dignity, grace and patience are to be admired. And I’m a progressive!— Carol Tingle (@ctsong) February 24, 2018
Matt’s defense of the indefensible is appallingly disgusting! And he’s always doing this.. must be his role in the party.