That Time Joe Scarborough Mocked Michael Steele’s RNC Leadership in 2009: ‘Being Black Isn’t Enough’

Joe Scarborough on Michael Steele in 2009:

“You know what the Republicans are learning right now, that sometimes, being black isn’t enough. They thought we’re going to get a black guy to run our party.” pic.twitter.com/IAXNEXr74N

— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 26, 2018

“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough defended former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on Monday after a senior GOP official said Steele had only been elected to lead the RNC in 2009 because he was “a black guy.”

But Scarborough had a decidedly different view in 2009 when Steele was leading the Republican party.

“You know what the Republicans are learning right now: that sometimes being black isn’t enough. They thought we’re going to get a black guy to run our party,” he said with a squirming Mika Brzezinski at his side on an episode of “Morning Joe” nine years ago. “This is a lesson that Willie [Geist] and I learned growing up on the hardscrabble streets of the Mississippi Delta.

Also Read: CPAC Comms Chief: Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele Got Job Because He Was ‘A Black Guy’

“You know what, we’re 12 minutes in and I’m just like … Explain yourself, seriously,” said Brzezinski.

“Oh, are you offended by that?” he sneered at his co-host. “Hey, hey everybody, I was joking. I did not grow up a young black man on the Mississippi Delta. That was Steve Martin in ‘The Jerk.’ Is that politically correct, Mika? I hope I didn’t offend any of your friends.”

Also Read: Joe Scarborough Blasts ‘Useful Idiots in the Media’ Who Defend ‘Gun Lobby’

He then repeated the original claim while imitating conservative commentator Pat Buchanan.

The context of the 2009 segment was over a spat between Steele and Rush Limbaugh in which Steele called the conservative radio host an “entertainer” whose program was often “incendiary.” Steele was ultimately forced to apologize for the comment.

“My intent was not to go after Rush — I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele told Politico at the time. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

Also Read: ‘Morning Joe’: Father of Parkland Shooting Victim Will Hug Marco Rubio If He Does ‘the Right Thing’ (Video)

Scarborough took a very different tone on Monday after Conservative Political Action Conference communications chief Ian Walters said it was a mistake to put Steele in charge of the GOP during a speech at the convention on Friday.

“We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy; that was the wrong thing to do,” he said at the event’s Ronald Reagan dinner Friday.

Here is video of #CPAC Comms Director Ian Walters making his remarks about former RNC Chairman Michael Steele

“We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy; that was the wrong thing to do.” pic.twitter.com/QpWs96b478

— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 24, 2018

Scarborough dedicated considerable airtime to the matter Monday, expressing shock and outrage while blasting the GOP for its response to the matter.

Also Read: ‘Morning Joe’ Surprise: Fox News Alum Eric Bolling Gets No Questions on Sexual Harassment Scandal

“We were all stunned that somebody said it was a mistake to select you as the head of the Republican Party because you were black,” he told Steele solemnly on Monday.

“This is a different planet,” said Brzezinski later in the show.

Steele, who has appeared on MSNBC to discuss the issue since TheWrap first broke the story, said it was evidence of Trump’s pernicious effect on the party.

Also Read: Joe Scarborough: Military Parade ‘Frightening,’ ‘Deeply Un-American’

“This Trumpification of the party is not just dangerous, it’s deadly to its future and I think that people have to be aware of that,” said Steele.

A rep for MSNBC did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

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“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough defended former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on Monday after a senior GOP official said Steele had only been elected to lead the RNC in 2009 because he was “a black guy.”

But Scarborough had a decidedly different view in 2009 when Steele was leading the Republican party.

“You know what the Republicans are learning right now: that sometimes being black isn’t enough. They thought we’re going to get a black guy to run our party,” he said with a squirming Mika Brzezinski at his side on an episode of “Morning Joe” nine years ago. “This is a lesson that Willie [Geist] and I learned growing up on the hardscrabble streets of the Mississippi Delta.

“You know what, we’re 12 minutes in and I’m just like … Explain yourself, seriously,” said Brzezinski.

“Oh, are you offended by that?” he sneered at his co-host. “Hey, hey everybody, I was joking. I did not grow up a young black man on the Mississippi Delta. That was Steve Martin in ‘The Jerk.’ Is that politically correct, Mika? I hope I didn’t offend any of your friends.”

He then repeated the original claim while imitating conservative commentator Pat Buchanan.

The context of the 2009 segment was over a spat between Steele and Rush Limbaugh in which Steele called the conservative radio host an “entertainer” whose program was often “incendiary.” Steele was ultimately forced to apologize for the comment.

“My intent was not to go after Rush — I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele told Politico at the time. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

Scarborough took a very different tone on Monday after Conservative Political Action Conference communications chief Ian Walters said it was a mistake to put Steele in charge of the GOP during a speech at the convention on Friday.

“We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy; that was the wrong thing to do,” he said at the event’s Ronald Reagan dinner Friday.

Scarborough dedicated considerable airtime to the matter Monday, expressing shock and outrage while blasting the GOP for its response to the matter.

“We were all stunned that somebody said it was a mistake to select you as the head of the Republican Party because you were black,” he told Steele solemnly on Monday.

“This is a different planet,” said Brzezinski later in the show.

Steele, who has appeared on MSNBC to discuss the issue since TheWrap first broke the story, said it was evidence of Trump’s pernicious effect on the party.

“This Trumpification of the party is not just dangerous, it’s deadly to its future and I think that people have to be aware of that,” said Steele.

A rep for MSNBC did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.

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MSNBC Analyst Michael Steele To Conservative Honcho: “I’ve Taken Crap You Have No Idea About”

Republican MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele confronted the head of the American Conservative Union over controversial comments made at CPAC yesterday suggesting Steele had previously been chosen the Republican National Committee chairman because “he was a black guy.”
“I’ve taken crap you have no idea about,” Steele said to ACU chairman Matt Schlapp on Steele’s SiriusXM radio show today. (Watch the segment below).
Schlapp, himself a familiar MSNBC pundit, attempted…

Republican MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele confronted the head of the American Conservative Union over controversial comments made at CPAC yesterday suggesting Steele had previously been chosen the Republican National Committee chairman because “he was a black guy.” “I've taken crap you have no idea about,” Steele said to ACU chairman Matt Schlapp on Steele’s SiriusXM radio show today. (Watch the segment below). Schlapp, himself a familiar MSNBC pundit, attempted…

CPAC Comms Chief: Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele Got Job Because He Was ‘A Black Guy’

Here is video of #CPAC Comms Director Ian Walters making his remarks about former RNC Chairman Michael Steele

“We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy; that was the wrong thing to do.” pic.twitter.com/QpWs96b478

— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 24, 2018

CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters raised eyebrows at this year’s conference after telling an audience Friday evening that former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele only got the job because he was “black.”

“We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy; that was the wrong thing to do,” Walters said at the event’s exclusive Ronald Reagan dinner. Many dinner attendees greeted the comments with gasps.

The remarks were first reported by Jon Levine at TheWrap on Twitter.

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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

Walters’ statement drew swift backlash on Twitter, where he faced bipartisan condemnation. Steele had been mingling throughout CPAC on Friday and was just outside the dinner hall at the time Walters spoke.

Steele told TheWrap Saturday that he first became aware of the comments while recording a radio spot that evening and that it showed how much work his party had to do about courting minority voters.

The story was picked up by MSNBC — where Steele works as a contributor. On a call with host Joy Reid, Friday, he expanded further on his feelings about the moment.

“Very 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 prism of race. It’s unfortunate. It’s stupid. It’s immature,” he said. “I hope it is not a reflection of the leadership of CPAC.”

Also Read: CPAC: 10-Year-Old Credentialed Journalist Steals the Show

Steele phoned in to “A.M. Joy” Saturday morning, where host Joy Reid asked him, “Do you think the Republican party has a racism problem?”

“Yes, they do, and I think we need to be honest and acknowledge it,” Steele said. “People sit here now and say that this has nothing to do with race. Yeah, it does when you stand on a podium and blatantly speak to race the way Ian did. And that’s fine. Let’s acknowledge that. I’m not saying you are racist; I’m saying you’re having a problem talking about and making expressions around race that often times come off not just as insensitive, but downright racist. And the party is not that way.”

.@JoyAnnReid: Do you think the GOP has a racism problem?

Michael Steele: Yes, I do. I think we need to acknowledge it. People sit here now & say this has nothing to do with race. Yeah it does when you stand on a podium & blatantly speak to race. #AMJoy pic.twitter.com/EDC4FCiMy6

– Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 24, 2018

Also Read: Former RNC Chair Just Called Trump a Racist on Live TV (Video)

The moment puts a cloud over a fiery but mostly smooth 2018 CPAC, which has seen speeches from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. In a tweeted response, Walters said he spoke with Steele and apologized.

“I spoke with Mike Steele and apologized because the words I used do not capture my heart,” he said, though Steele told Reid that the apology was not enough.

“I just said you know, that’s not acceptable it’s not enough,” Steele told TheWrap.

It is unclear whether Walters will face any consequences for the snafu.

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

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CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters raised eyebrows at this year’s conference after telling an audience Friday evening that former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele only got the job because he was “black.”

“We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy; that was the wrong thing to do,” Walters said at the event’s exclusive Ronald Reagan dinner. Many dinner attendees greeted the comments with gasps.

The remarks were first reported by Jon Levine at TheWrap on Twitter.

Walters’ statement drew swift backlash on Twitter, where he faced bipartisan condemnation. Steele had been mingling throughout CPAC on Friday and was just outside the dinner hall at the time Walters spoke.

Steele told TheWrap Saturday that he first became aware of the comments while recording a radio spot that evening and that it showed how much work his party had to do about courting minority voters.

The story was picked up by MSNBC — where Steele works as a contributor. On a call with host Joy Reid, Friday, he expanded further on his feelings about the moment.

“Very 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 prism of race. It’s unfortunate. It’s stupid. It’s immature,” he said. “I hope it is not a reflection of the leadership of CPAC.”

Steele phoned in to “A.M. Joy” Saturday morning, where host Joy Reid asked him, “Do you think the Republican party has a racism problem?”

“Yes, they do, and I think we need to be honest and acknowledge it,” Steele said. “People sit here now and say that this has nothing to do with race. Yeah, it does when you stand on a podium and blatantly speak to race the way Ian did. And that’s fine. Let’s acknowledge that. I’m not saying you are racist; I’m saying you’re having a problem talking about and making expressions around race that often times come off not just as insensitive, but downright racist. And the party is not that way.”

The moment puts a cloud over a fiery but mostly smooth 2018 CPAC, which has seen speeches from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. In a tweeted response, Walters said he spoke with Steele and apologized.

“I spoke with Mike Steele and apologized because the words I used do not capture my heart,” he said, though Steele told Reid that the apology was not enough.

“I just said you know, that’s not acceptable it’s not enough,” Steele told TheWrap.

It is unclear whether Walters will face any consequences for the snafu.

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Former RNC Chair Just Called Trump a Racist on Live TV (Video)

Former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele — the first African-American to hold the job — said Friday that he believes President Trump is racist.

“At this point, the evidence is incontrovertible, it’s right there,” Steele said when asked if Trump is racist by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson.

Steele’s comments follow a Washington Post report Thursday, which said that President Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as “s—hole countries” during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House.

Also Read: Trump Blasted for ‘Racist’ Comments Questioning Immigrants From ‘Shithole Countries’

According to the Post, Trump also suggested the U.S. bring in more immigrants from places like Norway instead.

“There are a whole lot of folks like Donald Trump,” Steele said. “White folks in this country who have a problem with the browning of America … When they talk about [wanting] their country back, they are talking about a country that was very safely white, less brown and less committed to that browning process.”

Trump has denied making the comment as reported. “This was not the language used,” he tweeted Friday.

Also Read: Watch Don Lemon’s Tense Confrontation With Trump Surrogate Over ‘Shithole’ Remarks (Video)

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat who was present in the meeting with Trump, pushed back on the president’s denial, insisting that Trump “said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.”

Trump’s comments sparked a wave of condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as media personalities, many of whom called the president a “racist.”

Watch Steele’s comments on MSNBC in the video above.

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Former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele — the first African-American to hold the job — said Friday that he believes President Trump is racist.

“At this point, the evidence is incontrovertible, it’s right there,” Steele said when asked if Trump is racist by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson.

Steele’s comments follow a Washington Post report Thursday, which said that President Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as “s—hole countries” during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House.

According to the Post, Trump also suggested the U.S. bring in more immigrants from places like Norway instead.

“There are a whole lot of folks like Donald Trump,” Steele said. “White folks in this country who have a problem with the browning of America … When they talk about [wanting] their country back, they are talking about a country that was very safely white, less brown and less committed to that browning process.”

Trump has denied making the comment as reported. “This was not the language used,” he tweeted Friday.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat who was present in the meeting with Trump, pushed back on the president’s denial, insisting that Trump “said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.”

Trump’s comments sparked a wave of condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as media personalities, many of whom called the president a “racist.”

Watch Steele’s comments on MSNBC in the video above.

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‘Morning Joe’ Republican on Roy Moore: ‘The Crap That Flows From This Will Spew Up All Over Us’

Ex-RNC Chief @MichaelSteele on Roy Moore: ‘The Crap That Flows From This Will Spew Up All Over Us’ pic.twitter.com/yNZvUTjSrq

— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) November 14, 2017

The set of “Morning Joe” spent a second day analyzing the fallout from allegations of sexual misconduct by Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

On hand was show regular and former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. Steele said that Moore was a grave danger to the party brand and made his point with a blunt metaphor.

“Our Republican party needs to take a step away from this and make it very clear that this is not the kind of candidate nor the kind the person that we would project to the country as a leader,” said Steele. “And if it does not do this, the crap that flows from this will spew up all over us and it will be hard to get out of our clothing politically down the road.”

Also Read: ‘Morning Joe’ Blasts Roy Moore Media Coverage: ‘It Makes Me Sick to My Stomach’ (Video)

Steele’s comments on crap-soiled political garb came after a question from show co-host Willie Geist, who asked how Steele would have handled the issue were he still running the RNC.

Steele said there were many instances during his career where he had “come to Jesus” moments with flawed candidates and informed them that the national party would abandon them regardless of the electoral outcome.

On Monday, Moore’s public denials took a major blow with the emergence of a fifth accuser. During an emotional press conference with attorney Gloria Allred, Beverly Young Nelson accused Moore of sexually assaulting her in a car when she was 16. Though Moore later said he didn’t know the woman, Nelson was able to produce an old high school yearbook which bore Moore’s signature.

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National Republican figures seemed to come to the same conclusion as Steele this week, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telling reporters that he believed the Moore accusers and that the judge should step aside.

Another Senate Republican, Cory Gardner, has said Moore should not be seated in the body even if he wins the election next month.

Watch above.

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The set of “Morning Joe” spent a second day analyzing the fallout from allegations of sexual misconduct by Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

On hand was show regular and former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. Steele said that Moore was a grave danger to the party brand and made his point with a blunt metaphor.

“Our Republican party needs to take a step away from this and make it very clear that this is not the kind of candidate nor the kind the person that we would project to the country as a leader,” said Steele. “And if it does not do this, the crap that flows from this will spew up all over us and it will be hard to get out of our clothing politically down the road.”

Steele’s comments on crap-soiled political garb came after a question from show co-host Willie Geist, who asked how Steele would have handled the issue were he still running the RNC.

Steele said there were many instances during his career where he had “come to Jesus” moments with flawed candidates and informed them that the national party would abandon them regardless of the electoral outcome.

On Monday, Moore’s public denials took a major blow with the emergence of a fifth accuser. During an emotional press conference with attorney Gloria Allred, Beverly Young Nelson accused Moore of sexually assaulting her in a car when she was 16. Though Moore later said he didn’t know the woman, Nelson was able to produce an old high school yearbook which bore Moore’s signature.

National Republican figures seemed to come to the same conclusion as Steele this week, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telling reporters that he believed the Moore accusers and that the judge should step aside.

Another Senate Republican, Cory Gardner, has said Moore should not be seated in the body even if he wins the election next month.

Watch above.

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Us Weekly Lays Off Staffers On Heels of Sale to AMI (Report)

Us Weekly laid off several employees on Thursday, according to various reports. The layoffs come on the heels of American Media, Inc. agreeing to purchase the magazine from Wenner Media.

The New York Post reports that 38 people, including Editor-in-Chief Michael Steele, were let go, while WWD reports that number to be “around 40.” Others reportedly cut include editorial director ‪Jaimee Zanzinger, design director Victor Thompson, deputy editor April P. Bernard and online executive editor Justin Ravitz.

An AMI spokesman did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Also Read: Jann Wenner Sells Us Weekly to Owner of National Enquirer

The sale resulted in the magazine going from openly gay, liberal Jann Wenner into the hands of AMI CEO and Chairman David J. Pecker, who is a Trump-friendly conservative. The latest issue of the magazine features an explosive, anti-Trump cover story about the president and First Lady sleeping in separate rooms and essentially living separate lives.

A staffer told the Post that the layoffs aren’t the new owner having different politics, noting, “We were all gone anyway.”

The Post had previously reported that staffers were angry about an email sent by Gus Wenner, who reportedly never personally addressed the staff regarding the sale. Employees will stick around for “the next few weeks” until the deal officially closes, according to the Post.

The entertainment and lifestyle news brand reaches an audience of 1.9 million paid copies per week and an online presence of more than 22 million visitors per month.

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Us Weekly laid off several employees on Thursday, according to various reports. The layoffs come on the heels of American Media, Inc. agreeing to purchase the magazine from Wenner Media.

The New York Post reports that 38 people, including Editor-in-Chief Michael Steele, were let go, while WWD reports that number to be “around 40.” Others reportedly cut include editorial director ‪Jaimee Zanzinger, design director Victor Thompson, deputy editor April P. Bernard and online executive editor Justin Ravitz.

An AMI spokesman did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The sale resulted in the magazine going from openly gay, liberal Jann Wenner into the hands of AMI CEO and Chairman David J. Pecker, who is a Trump-friendly conservative. The latest issue of the magazine features an explosive, anti-Trump cover story about the president and First Lady sleeping in separate rooms and essentially living separate lives.

A staffer told the Post that the layoffs aren’t the new owner having different politics, noting, “We were all gone anyway.”

The Post had previously reported that staffers were angry about an email sent by Gus Wenner, who reportedly never personally addressed the staff regarding the sale. Employees will stick around for “the next few weeks” until the deal officially closes, according to the Post.

The entertainment and lifestyle news brand reaches an audience of 1.9 million paid copies per week and an online presence of more than 22 million visitors per month.

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