Michael Steele told NewsOne's Roland Martin that he has experienced fear from fellow members of his party because the color of his skin.
MARTIN: How do you -- granted, a popular president got 95% of the black vote -- you got any shot at getting black voters and if so what are the two issues that speaks to black voters for Republican have a shot at them?
STEELE: Education and the economy. Education and jobs. Education and small business.
MARTIN: But your candidates got to talk to them. One of the criticisms I've always had is Republicans -- white Republicans -- have been scared of black folks.
STEELE: You're absolutely right. I mean, I've been in the room and they've been scared of me. I'm like, I'm on your side and so I can imagine going out there and talking to someone like you, you know, "I'll listen." And they're like "Well." Let me tell you. You saw in Christie and you saw in McDonnell a door open because they went in and engaged. McDonnell was very deliberate about spending --
STEELE: I mean, Sheila Johnson was on his team. I mean, that was a big deal. That's because he engaged her and she helped navigate him through that relationship.
This video is from NewsOne.com, broadcast Nov. 9, 2009.