Rand Paul's suggestion that he might have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act has made waves within the GOP establishment, which is unsure whether to defend their senate candidate or distance the party from the controversy. That uncertainty was on full display during Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele's Sunday appearance on This Week. Here's the full exchange. Steele struggles a bit around six minutes in, a partial transcript of which is below.
TAPPER: Just one more -- one more beat on Rand Paul, and that is do you condemn that point of view? I mean, where would African-Americans be if the federal government hadn't come in and said, hotels, you have to--
STEELE: Exactly. That's very much a part of the debate back in the '60s, as it is going forward. But the reality of it is, our party has stood four-square behind, you know--
TAPPER: But do you condemn that view?
STEELE: I can't condemn a person's view. That's like, you know, you believe something and I'm going to say, well, you know, "I'm going to condemn your view of it." It's the people of Kentucky will judge whether or not that's a view that they would like to send--
TAPPER: Are you comfortable with that?STEELE: I am not comfortable with a lot of things, but it doesn't matter what I'm comfortable with and not comfortable with. I don't vote in that election. The people of Kentucky will.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.