Obama, RNC Chairman Michael Steele Share Burden of "black guys"
RNC Chairman Michael Steele said Monday that he and President Obama share a common trait: They carry the burden of being black guys.
That, said Steele, is "just the reality of it."The honest answer is, yes," Steele said on "Good Morning America." "Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. A lot of folks do."
Last week Steele was harried by angry GOP leaders over his bold spending and the scandal of the donor reimbursement of nearly 2K for the Voyeur Club in West Hollywood.
Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman, said Steele's remarks were off the mark and "silly", and that not the race card, but the credit card, were at the root of all.
Steele said he disapproved of the lavish spending for the lesbian-bondage themed club, at that the incident was being overblown.
Steele also claimed that assertions that the Republican National Committee, which he heads is overspending are false, and that the RNC has been better at fundraising than the Democratic National Committee. Steele claimed the RNC is in fact "fiscally conservative".
Steele has raised the race issue before:
In February, he drew some GOP hackles when he suggested in an interview with the Washingtonian magazine that some of the criticism he was getting was motivated by racism.
And last May, Steele was guess hosting Bill Bennett's radio show when he declared that Obama got a pass from the media during the Democratic primary because "the press fell in love with the black man running for the office."
A second scandal followed the Voyeur Club one of last week:
It was claimed the GOP party out a census-themed fundraising appeal that included a phone number for a sex-chat line.
GOP Arizona Senator Jon Kyl and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) were angry and refused to give Steele their vote of confidence regarding both matters.
Some believe that charges of "elitism" and of being "out of touch" with the American middle class may equally be leveled at the GOP, and are not the faults solely of some well-heeled Democrats.
Certainly, Steele - down to earth in his mannerisms, charming in his diction - does run the RNC with a certain flippancy when it comes to donations and fundraising. That he was angered by the West Hollywood incident is clear, but pulling the race card - when Obama himself very rarely does so ( I recall only a campaign reference to his race made by himself) was not the wisest choice, given the awkwardness of the political moment.
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Arlington, Virginia, United States