During an MSNBC appearance, American Conservative Union head Matt Schlapp was grilled by Hallie Jackson over the racially charged comments made by the CPAC’s spokesman regarding ex-RNC chairman Michael Steele.
While speaking in front of attendees of the largest annual conservative gathering last Friday, CPAC flack Ian Walters joked that the RNC tapped Steele as their chair just because “he was a black guy” working during the presidency of Barack Obama — the first black president.
Schlapp defended his spokesman by suggesting people offer him “grace” over the remark and invoked the classic heated moment excuse — à la Ian Miles Cheong:
“The moment after these comments were uttered by Ian, which was a spontaneous exchange, he called Michael to apologize. And Michael didn’t accept his apology, and I think that shows a lack of grace… That specific thing to having some grace? I think Ian and Michael — who have been friends for a very long time and I’ve been friends with Michael for a very long time — things get said in a heated political conversation, and at the end, we have to be able to continue to be friends. I don’t like the fact that we’re divided, but I’ll tell you one thing — Ian’s point of view is valid.”
The CPAC head went on to note that the comment brought up a much needed dialogue regarding race and the GOP, but denied any accusations of racism toward Walters.
“If we don’t talk about the problems — just because you talk about race, it doesn’t make it racist — and the left loves to jump to that,” Schlapp said. “Conservatives can also talk about race.”
Later in the interview, while Schlapp initially refused to answer whether or not Steele was a good chair, after a grilling from Jackson he eventually admitted that the ex-RNC head was “sub-par” and explained he was “deposed by his own advisor Reince Priebus” who went on to “clean up the messes of Michael Steele.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[images via screengrab]
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