'This Week' Transcript: Kaine and Steele

This Week

TAPPER: Hello again. Joining me now, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tim Kaine, and the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele. Gentlemen, welcome.

KAINE: Hey, Jake, good to be with you.

STEELE: Jake, good to see you.

TAPPER: I want to get to the general election results in a second, but first, I want to bear in on a couple of controversies we have, and I'm going to start with you, Mr. Steele.


VIDEO: Chairmen of the DNC and RNC on "This Week" react to Tuesdays primaries.

TAPPER: I don't know if you were expecting (ph) that or not--

STEELE: Kind of.


TAPPER: The Kentucky Senate candidate, Rand Paul, has expressed his objections philosophically to the federal government being able to tell businesses that they cannot discriminate. Here's Rand Paul.


RAND PAUL, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, R-KY.: I like the Civil Rights Act in a sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains. I abhor racism. I think it's a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.

There's ten different titles, you know, to the Civil Rights Act. One deals with private institutions, and had I been around, I would have tried to modify that.


TAPPER: Chairman Steele, you have worked so hard to bring minorities into the Republican Party. Here is a Senate candidate saying that he doesn't think the government, philosophically, should be able to tell a business that they can't -- that they have to serve you.

STEELE: Right, right.

TAPPER: Do you have an issue with that?

STEELE: Well, I do, and I think it's important to understand that Rand Paul has clarified his statement and has reiterated his support for and, you know, movement towards pushing civil rights forward as opposed to going backwards, number one.

Number two, our party has always had a strong view on this issue. We fought very hard in the '60s to get the civil rights bill passed as well as the voting rights bill. So I think that, you know, any -- any, you know, attempted look backwards, it's not in the best interests of our country, certainly, and certainly not in the best interests of the party.

So, you know, I've talked to Rand. He and I are on the same page. Our party stands four-square about moving forward on civil rights. Looking at the civil rights issues of the day -- education, for example -- there are many other fights that loom ahead for us in this area, so Rand Paul as United States senator will be four-square with the Republican Party, in lockstep with moving forward on civil rights, not looking backwards.

TAPPER: Chairman Kaine, this is traditionally a Republican seat. Do these views of Rand Paul make this seat more competitive in your mind?

KAINE: Absolutely, they do, Jake. Of course, it starts with our candidate, Jack Conway, who's the attorney general, I think he's going to run a great race. But Rand Paul's views on this, his statement this week that he thinks it's un-American for President Obama to try to hold British Petroleum accountable for the spill in the Gulf--

TAPPER: Let's talk about that. What do you think about that?

STEELE: Well, I mean, our own speaker of the House referred to American citizens as un-American, so I think referring to a policy which he did not say it was un-American per se. He said going in that direction could be an un-American--

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