Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele discussed the offensive comments made by American Conservative Union (ACU) Communications Director Ian Walters at the Ronald Reagan Dinner at CPAC on Feb. 23. In a nutshell, Walters said the RNC elected Steele, in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential win, because he was Black.
Steele invited Michael Schlapp, chairman of the ACU, to his SiriusXM podcast “Steele & Ungar” to discuss the comments the following day. Schlapp immediately began apologizing for Walters’ comment which Steele accepted. Things quickly took a turn for the worst, however, when Schlapp attempted to rationalize Walters’ comments.
“You have been in a lane where you have been rather critical of some of the more conservative aspects of the Trump phenomenon.” He continued, “There could be truth to the fact that some people picked you as chairman because we constantly do this in Republican circles about ‘Hey, here’s a new face for the party’ and he feels that there are criticisms of how you were chairman. Could you accept that that could be where he’s coming at, not a racial?” Steele wasn’t having it. “What the hell does my race have to do with any of that? What does the color of my skin have to do with anything you just said?
Schlapp continued to be critical of Steele for daring to challenge the President’s policies and other conservative views. He went on to call Walters’ comments “unfortunate.” Stelle fired back, “It was stupid, not unfortunate! Call it what it is.” He continued “It is stupid to sit there and say we elected a Black man a chairman of the party and that was a mistake. Do you know how that sounds to the Black community? Do you know how that sounds to Americas? Do you know how they then equate that level of stupidity to conservatism.”
Schlapp chided Steele for not having grace in his response to Walters comment. Steele was visibly taken aback by his “friend’s” reaction.
“I’ve taken crap you have no idea about, and I’ve carried this baggage,” Steele responded. “And for him to stand on that stage and denigrate my service to this party, and for you as a friend to sit there and go, ‘Well, you’ve been critical of this party.’ There’s only one word I can say, and I can’t say it on this air.”
I spoke with Mike Steele and apologized because the words I used do not capture my heart https://t.co/fG5vUqPqQp
— Ian B. Walters (@IanBWalters) February 24, 2018