The GOP’s first African-American chairman, Michael Steele, says he wasn’t invited to a party event Monday honouring the achievements of prominent black Republicans.
The news comes after Steele—who chaired the Republican National Committee (RNC) from 2009 to 2011—condemned racially charged comments that he was chosen to lead the party “because he’s a black guy” at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week.
“It is true, I did not receive an invitation but had no expectation of receiving one as I was unaware of the event occurring,” Steele told Newsweek of the Black Republican Trailblazer Awards held Monday.
It is what it is: however, I was pleased to receive a personal call from Chairwoman [Ronna] McDaniel—whom I’ve known and worked with for a while—expressing her regret for the mistake,” Steele said. “To be honest, at this point, I have no feelings one way or the other about such things,” he said, noting there are many party events he hasn’t been invited to since he was chairman. The RNC did not respond to a request for comment.
Last weekend Steele spoke out after CPAC communications director Ian Walters told the annual gathering of conservatives that “we elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy, that was the wrong thing to do.” Walters said electing Steele to head the party was merely a reaction to President Barack Obama becoming the first African-American president.
Walters’s comments were “painfully stupid” Steele told the Observer afterward.
See more- Source: News Week