During the Ronald Reagan dinner at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference Friday night, Ian Walters, the communications director of the conference, attacked former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele.
“We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do,” Walters said in a comment reportedly met with gasps, according to Jonathan Levine, of The Wrap.
CPAC communication director Ian Walters at Reagan dinner
“We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do”
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 24, 2018
Steele told MSNBC’s Joy Reid he was shocked by the
“Of course I had one of those moments where you just go, what the?” Steele said. “So, yeah, a little shocked, a little disappointed. Surprised that people still in the party feel this way and look at the contributions that anyone would make to the party through the principle of race. It’s unfortunate, it’s stupid, it’s immature. And I’m waiting to speak to [conference chair] Matt Schlap about it.”
He noted he’s spoken at CPAC in the past and “I think also, Joy, to make up of what is going on in this country as well, and how quickly people revert to race as a weapon.” He called it “ignorant.”
“That’s the question I was going to ask you,” Reid confessed. “You have been a Republican a long time, do you sense that the party has changed and shifted toward more openness with these kind of views in your view?”
Steele confessed, “clearly” the party has moved in this direction.
“I think that is something that will be concerning going forward,” he continued. “It will play itself out during the campaign, and we did see that. So, it is sad, but look, we’re going to do as much as we can, and education starts from within.”
Steele said that Walters called him to apologize and related it back to the election of Barack Obama.
Listen to Steele speak with Reid below: