DNC Chairman Kaine: Steele ‘Needs to Clean House’

Mar 5, 2010 1:30pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: DNC Chairman Tim Kaine today called on his RNC counterpart to “clean house” in response to a fundraising presentation that included cartoonish references to President Obama and top Democratic leaders — and said inaction would amount to condoning those “immature” and “outrageous” references contained in it. On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Kaine said the presentation — first reported by Politico’s Ben Smith — shows that for Republicans and GOP Chairman Michael Steele, “obstructionism and fear seem to be their two motivators.” “He needs to clean up his team,” Kaine, a former Virginia governor, told us. “The kind of scurrilous references and really, you know, immature and kind of outrageous characterizations of the president, of [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi], of [Senate Majority] Leader [Harry] Reid, really don’t have any place.” “It’s one thing to disagree on ideas, and sometimes, you know, that can be robust. But these were immature. So he needs to clean house over there and let some people go unless he thinks it’s fine, and he out to say that, too.” The presentation includes depictions of the president as the Joker from Batman, with Pelosi as Cruella DeVille and Reid as Scooby Doo. It also advises that Republicans can raise money by capitalizing on “fear” of Democratic policies that are moving the nation toward “socialism.” Steele has said had not seen and did not approve of the document, which was used to woo top fundraisers and donors at a recent party retreat in Florida. Kaine added that the presentation is likely to turn off Republican donors. “The thing about the materials that I thought were the most outrageous were not the characterizations of the Democrats — it was the way the Republicans talked about their own donors,” Kaine said. “They talked about their wealthy donors as primarily driven by ego, and they described their low-dollar donors as reactionary, and said that the way to get money out of their pockets is to play on their fears. If I were a donor to the Republican Party and I saw that that’s the way the leaders of the party were referring to me, I would — I’d  become at least an independent very fast.” UPDATE: After today’s interview, an RNC spokesman e-mailed a statement swinging back at Kaine: “The Speaker of the House has called those protesting ObamaCare ‘un-American’ and the House Majority Leader has called Michael Steele ‘slavish.’ If the Democratic National Committee is willing to clean house by calling for Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer to step down, then perhaps we’ll engage their conversation. Until then, the RNC remains focused on winning elections — as we have done in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia – something that caused former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder to call for the Democrats to clean their own house, starting with the DNC,” said spokesman Doug Heye.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus