From this Thursday's Hardball, former RNC Chairman and now unfortunately for anyone who watches the network, MSNBC contributor Michael Steele, decided to get into a spat with Chris Matthews over whether CPAC 2013 ought to be inviting the likes of birthers like Donald Trump to speak at the conference rather than those from the Republican party who might actually have a chance of winning a national election. Steele's response was basically to dismiss all of Trump's birther talk and attempt to paint it as ancient history.
That was so last month, don't you know. Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union which runs the event defended their choice of speakers as well, but I'm with Matthews on what we're likely to hear from The Donald when he takes the stage:
Matthews surmised CPAC’s theory was, “invite the noisemakers and snub the people who might actually lead you out of the wilderness.”
If you look at the scheduled speaking times, CPAC’s priorities are clear. Sen. Ted Cruz is allotted 33 minutes of speaking time, Sarah Palin has 16 minutes, and Donald Trump gets 14 minutes. Down at the bottom are Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan with 11 minutes a piece.
Matthews asked former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele if Trump’s conservative message at CPAC could be overshadowed by all of his birther talk about President Obama.
“I think that characterization can be put behind Donald Trump…Let’s see what the man says tomorrow,” said Steele, telling Matthews that no one’s talking about the birther issue “but you. You’re the only person bringing it up.”
“You know why?” Matthews said. “Because people who think that the president is an illegal immigrant shouldn’t be talking out loud almost anywhere.”
Cardenas said Trump was invited because he’s a “successful businessman” who can reflect on the realities of today’s economy. “I think he’ll be a positive influence on the youngsters here.”