RNC Chairman Candidates Split on Charged Stocking Stuffer
Updated 10:58 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
Republicans who are vying to lead the national party offered a mix of reactions today to the decision by one candidate for the job to mail out a music CD including the song "Barack the Magic Negro."
Chip Saltsman defended his actions, telling the Hill newspaper that the song -- and others on the CD, which was mailed to party members -- were nothing more than light-hearted parodies. But his rivals in the race to chair the Republican National Committee said it carried an inaccurate message about what the GOP stands for.
"In my opinion, this isn't funny and its in bad taste," said Michigan party chairman Saul Anuzis. "Just as important, anything that paints the GOP as being motivated in our criticism of President-elect Obama by anything other than a difference in philosophy does a disservice to our party."
Current national chairman Mike Duncan, who is running for reelection, issued a statement about the CD as well.
"The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party. I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate, as it clearly does not move us in the right direction," Duncan said.
But some of Saltsman's rivals responded more mildly. Former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele, one of two black candidates for the job, said the leadership of the party needs to "appreciate how our actions and our words are oftentimes used to define who we are as Republicans."
"I know Chip Saltsman, I know his character; and while his attempt at humor was clearly misplaced, it does not make him indifferent to the important work of building the coalitions necessary to make our party stronger," Steele said in a statement. "And yet, we must be mindful that self-inflicted wounds not only distract us from regaining our strength as a Party, but further diminish our credibility with an increasingly diverse community of voters. As RNC Chairman, I want us to be a lot smarter about such things and more appreciative that our actions always speak louder than our words."
And former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell defended Saltsman and attacked -- who else? -- the media.
"Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-elect Obama being the first African American elected president," Blackwell, who is black, said in a statement.
"I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them," he added. "When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."
Saltsman took a similar line today, calling out the media for reporting on his holiday gift.
"Liberal Democrats and their allies in the media didn't utter a word about David Ehrenstein's irresponsible column in the Los Angeles Times last March. But now, of course, they're shocked and appalled by its parody on 'The Rush Limbaugh Show,' " Saltsman said in a statement today, referring to the op-ed article that reportedly inspired the song lyrics.
"I firmly believe that we must welcome all Americans into our party and that the road to Republican resurgence begins with unity, not division. But I know that our party leaders should stand up against the media's double standards and refuse to pander to their desire for scandal."
Posted at 5:34 PM ET on Dec 27, 2008
Share This: Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Obama's Vacation: Power Returns to Oahu | Next: At Home and Abroad, a Tough Road Ahead for Obama
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: SAINT---The | December 29, 2008 4:14 PM
Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | December 29, 2008 3:17 PM
Posted by: cynicalismo | December 29, 2008 2:45 PM
Posted by: Diogenes | December 29, 2008 1:42 PM
Posted by: naahbob | December 29, 2008 11:11 AM
Posted by: TrueBlue2 | December 29, 2008 8:54 AM
Posted by: HughBriss | December 29, 2008 12:05 AM
Posted by: Gator-ron | December 28, 2008 6:55 PM
Posted by: NeilSagan | December 28, 2008 5:18 PM
Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 4:59 PM
Posted by: SAINT---The | December 28, 2008 3:45 PM
Posted by: dlaselvaca | December 28, 2008 3:20 PM
Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 11:45 AM
Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 11:04 AM
Posted by: toritto | December 28, 2008 10:55 AM
Posted by: rooster54 | December 28, 2008 9:52 AM
Posted by: williambanzai7 | December 28, 2008 6:58 AM
Posted by: JohnQuimby | December 28, 2008 1:03 AM
Posted by: seemstome | December 27, 2008 11:25 PM
Posted by: seemstome | December 27, 2008 11:03 PM
Posted by: commoner3 | December 27, 2008 11:02 PM
Posted by: JRM2 | December 27, 2008 11:01 PM
Posted by: thaimex | December 27, 2008 10:07 PM
Posted by: OceanDog | December 27, 2008 9:32 PM
Posted by: fledermaus1 | December 27, 2008 9:17 PM
Posted by: texaslightnin | December 27, 2008 9:06 PM
Posted by: T-Prop | December 27, 2008 8:57 PM
Posted by: Lou3 | December 27, 2008 8:38 PM
Posted by: icewater1 | December 27, 2008 8:24 PM
Posted by: T-Prop | December 27, 2008 8:19 PM
Posted by: commoner3 | December 27, 2008 7:58 PM
Posted by: Thinker1 | December 27, 2008 7:51 PM
Posted by: Snowdog | December 27, 2008 7:42 PM
Posted by: mavisdarling | December 27, 2008 7:38 PM
Posted by: chubbycheckers | December 27, 2008 7:33 PM
Posted by: qcdude3 | December 27, 2008 7:12 PM
Posted by: chasemonster | December 27, 2008 7:07 PM
Posted by: corporatemediawatcher | December 27, 2008 6:57 PM
Posted by: odell1 | December 27, 2008 6:50 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.