Steele accuses Carter of "playing the race card"

The RNC chair, who is black, heatedly denies that opposition to the president is based in racism

Published September 16, 2009 2:45PM (EDT)

Republican National Committee Chairman isn't happy. More specifically, he isn't happy about what former President Carter said about animosity to President Obama being mainly racial. So Steele, who is himself African American, put out a pretty firey statement attacking Carter:

President Carter is flat out wrong. This isn’t about race. It is about policy.

This is a pathetic distraction by Democrats to shift attention away from the president's wildly unpopular government-run health care plan that the American people simply oppose. Injecting race into the debate over critical issues facing American families doesn’t create jobs, reform our health care system or reduce the growing deficit. It only divides Americans rather than uniting us to find solutions to challenges facing our nation.

Characterizing Americans’ disapproval of President Obama’s policies as being based on race is an outrage and a troubling sign about the lengths Democrats will go to disparage all who disagree with them. Playing the race card shows that Democrats are willing to deal from the bottom of the deck. Our political system has no place for this type of rhetoric.

As the leader of the Democratic Party President Obama should flatly reject efforts by those in his Party, including Jimmy Carter and Tim Kaine, to inject race into our civil discourse in ways that divide, not unite, Americans.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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Barack Obama Jimmy Carter Michael Steele Race War Room