Gingrich Pretends Republicans Can't Be Racist Since They Elected Michael Steele As RNC Chair

Newt Gingrich wants us to believe that the party that still hasn't given up on Lee Atwater's Southern Strategy and embraces the bigotry of the likes of Rush Limbaugh who's race baiting on the air on a daily basis couldn't possibly be racist because
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Newt Gingrich wants us to believe that the party that still hasn't given up on Lee Atwater's Southern Strategy and embraces the bigotry of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, who's race-baiting on the air on a daily basis -- why, that party couldn't possibly be racist because they elected Michael Steele as RNC chairman.

Gingrich also fails to note that Steele's fund-raising efforts were severely undermined by the likes of Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove and similar outside groups.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you used the word "replace," so let me go to Michael Steele, who -- it seems that there are many within the Republican Party who are not -- not anxious to have him run again. What's he done well? And where has he failed, if he's failed?

GINGRICH: Well, Michael Steele has done very well in dramatically expanding Republican outreach to minority communities. Thirty-seven percent of the members of Congress who are Latino are Republican, the highest number in history. We have two African-American members of Congress and have made real breakthroughs in other areas.

We elected an all-Latino state ticket in New Mexico. We elected an Indian-American with Nikki Haley in South Carolina as governor. It was really quite a remarkable year. And you wouldn't have said two years ago, when the first African-American president as a Democrat was elected, that he would set the stage for the biggest increase in Republican minority representation in history. But in, for example, in the state of Texas, four Latino candidates and two African-American candidates won state legislative seats as Republican. So all across the country, Michael did a good job there. He did a good job representing the Republican Party in public.

VAN SUSTEREN: So why are people unhappy with him?

GINGRICH: There were no attacks...

VAN SUSTEREN: So why are some unhappy with him?

GINGRICH: I think -- I think there's -- look, I think, to be candid - - and he's a very good friend of mine. To be candid, I think there's a feeling that in the area of raising money and in the area of running the internal machinery, that he didn't do as good a job, that he should have had a much stronger executive director taking care of that part of the party, and that's why there's significant dissatisfaction.

He's got to make a decision. If he wants to run, he's going to have to convince the committee members that he's going to have a very, very strong executive director and that the committee will be much more professionally run over the next two years. But I wouldn't count him out because he did, in fact, do a lot for the Republican Party.

Remember, despite all their efforts, the Democrats in the White House never attacked the Republicans this year on racism because it was so patently stupid when had you Michael Steele as the chairman. That is a significant advantage in public relations campaigns. And I think that Steele does deserve some of the credit for us having done much better than anybody thought possible in January of 2009.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, enjoy Iowa. Thank you, sir.

GINGRICH: Take care.

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