A Word: Is Larry Elder the Best of Black Republicans?
Support for this. Podcast comes from verizon business verizon business unlimited plans unlimited data no overages and more built right for business with the speed of verizon five g get verizon business unlimited plans from his lowest thirty dollars per line visit verizon dot com slash business slash plans per month with five lines on business. Unlimited start includes paper-free billing with auto pay and select smartphone agreement discounts taxes fees in terms. Apply five g. Nationwide available in two thousand seven hundred plus cities on most verizon five g. devices five ultra wideband available only in parts of select cities. This is a word podcast from sleep. I'm your host. Jason johnson generation after leaders colin powell inspired african american conservatives to embrace the gop some of the most visible black republicans now are extremists and blowhards. Who are chasing the support of trump voters. What happened and what's the way forward. There was a time when you know. Blacks voted ninety ten republican. And we squandered that the future of black republican leadership coming up on a word with me. Jason johnson stay with us. Welcome to award a podcast about race in politics and everything else. I'm your host jason johnson. Once upon a time the republican party was the default choice of millions of black american voters and the political home for black leaders but for decades. The party of lincoln has embraced the most reactionary policies and statements on race leaving many conservative black americans without apolitical home. And just in the last fifteen years. The most prominent black republican has changed from elder statesman. Colin powell to this guy like it or not slavery was legal and so their property. Their legal property was taken away from them after the after the civil war. So you could make an argument that the people that are old reparations and not only just black people but also the people whose quote property close quote was taken away after after the end of the civil war. that's radio host. Larry elder who is leading the republican pack in a bid to become california governor and the upcoming recall election in the meantime black republican and former football star herschel walker as announced his long shot candidacy for senator in georgia even though he lives in texas but they're still black republicans who want to make the party credible again amongst black voters. One of those leaders is michael steele. He wants served as lieutenant governor in maryland and briefly as chairman of the republican national committee. He's currently a political analyst for msnbc and host of the man of steel podcast. Michael steele joins us now. Welcome to a word. Hey man what's the word. I'm just gonna start off with this. I mean just purely from a strategic standpoint. And i think this is you know one of the things i appreciate about you. The most michael is that you have a very good mind for just plain old campaign and political strategy. And i think that's important for people to understand like you know what it takes to win. You know how to make good commercials. I've talked in the past. How rafael warnock's commercial with the dog. The puppy was based on one of your campaign as from ten twelve years ago. You know what you're talking about. So when you look at. Larry elder who's trying to become the governor of california and you look at herschel walker. Who's trying to become the republican nominee and therefore when the senate seat against warnock in georgia will think their chances are just just overall five thousand miles away strategy. What do you think these guys. Chances are on both of these races. Well let's start with georgia. You know i think herschel walker certainly okay so the thinking of a lot of white republicans. It's going to be all. Let's put the black man up against the black man and so that that will create some of its own juice. So much reminds me of when i was elected chairman. The dan was elected. I was walking through the hall and one of the members came up to me and she gave me a big hug in this big smile on her face and she said i'm so excited and i said well thank you. She's a yeah now. Black folks will will vote republican. I went maybe. I'm not a five for this is not how that works. Sorry that's the mindset. So i think for herschel who has an enormous amount of baggage from his own public statements in tweets over the past few years so the doubling down on the big lie and things like that. It's going to be a challenge for him but you know he's got the blessing. I believe of a lot of the party. Folks and former president trump. That's going to help him get maybe the nomination and then wore. Not i think cleanses clock in general so republicans are sort of grasping at straws with candidates leg herschel walker and i'll be straight up about california california's all on the democrats. There's no way in heaven or hell that they should find themselves with their governor now struggling to hold this seat against a black conservative rush limbaugh radio style talk show host who has no idea how to govern the state of california. Why do these folks thing that they're going to put a guy who runs his mouth all day in a chair. That's going to have to make these decisions about how to how to spend the very very finite dollars of the tax payers which programs to prioritize. This brothers already come out talking about well. We just going to open up the state. No mass mandates no no vaccine requirements. So he's going to affect the population and then wonder why the hospitals overrun. And here's the rub when he runs for reelection a year from now. Do you think. Larry elder is going to get reelected governor of california. So what will this last. Twelve months have been about absolutely nothing michael. It seems like in the last ten years. We're down to a point where one of the only credible black republicans who is an actual elected official. Is tim scott. What's tim scott's immediate future. Because i see him in nikki haley. Everybody's gonna talk about them as potential vp picks. But i don't see them being on a ticket in two thousand twenty four for the republican party. So where's tim scott go. He's the most prominent black face left on a party. You know tem arguably can can write his own ticket. Everybody's point money into his coffers right. now he's raising more money than most republicans you know. He's quote leading on criminal reform. He's you know criminal justice reform. But you you're right. There's going to be a lot of talk about him. Not only being on the ticket but being the top of the ticket as a potential on but scott is not going to run against a donald trump for the office. I mean we. He's already shown he's not prepared to fight donald trump. he won't fight donald trump. But i think for him. it's going to be. He's going to have to reconcile a number of things because the reckoning that a lot of african american politicians are having to come to grips with this goes back to california. And the crazy. That's going there with elder is the black communities voice it does not sound the same as it has in the past on these big civil rights issues. Now you know it's like we're going to declare our history. We're going to declare our moment. Black lives matter. We're going to. We're going to make the country wreck income to reckon with us. And i don't hear a whole lot of black politician speaking to that route to take a short break. We come back more on the future of black republicans and black politicians in general. This is a word with jason johnson. Stay tuned this. Is jason johnson hall civil word snakes podcast about race in politics and everything else. I wanna take a moment to welcome our new listeners. If you've discovered a word and like what you hear. Please subscribe rate in review wherever you listen to podcasts. And let us know what you think. By writing at a word and sleek dot com. Thank you this episode is brought to you by federal. Football is back and the best bet you can make is downloading the fan duel sportsbook app. It doesn't matter if you're new to gambling or an old pro fan duel has something for everyone and as an official sports betting partner of the nfl. You know your bets are safe. There's also never been a better time to use fan duel because right now you'll get up to one thousand dollars back. If you're i bet doesn't win. You can even turn a small wager into a big payday with the same game parlay bet. Just sign up with the promo code spotify to place your i bet risk-free on fan duel sportsbook download fan duel today. Twenty-one plus and present. In virginia i online real money wager. Only refund does non-withdrawal site credit. That expires in fourteen days. Restrictions apply see terms at sportsbook dot fan duel dot com gambling problem. Call one eight hundred gambler. You're listening to a word with jason johnson. Today we're talking about black republican leadership with commentator and former chair of the republican national committee. Michael steele mike. I want to continue with this name. Because i think you really hit the nail on the head. I about tim scott. Then this sort of idea of these new issues. I look at tim. Scott as a presidential candidate as a black republican. He's going to be an opportunity window guy right. I look at tim. Scott the same way if trump for some reason didn't run in twenty twenty four hours ago to. Yeah then he's he's gonna run right. Yeah i think. I think that's right. He's still has to deal with the likes of a disentis and some others that will emerge in that process. But it'll be different it'll be. It'll be a competitive. It's going to be a competitive primary regardless even if trump does when because i think trump was going to be challenged from his normal side and the crazies will will rally around him so it will be a very difficult primary for trump or any trump style candidate from what i'm hearing the. There's the this is going to be the first stage of armageddon politically. No it is and it and it needs to be quite honestly it needs to be. So where does tim finn in that. In that fight is going to be important. This is not going to be a fight for people's like does the rodney king. Can we all just get along now. We're best that bowl now. We ain't doing that no more. This is about the country. Democracy is about apart at once problem party that stood for something other than itself or certainly other than dear leader. And so they're they're going to be these very very powerful strains that emerge in candidates like tim nikki haley and others who have placated remained silent nodded their head in the background. Stood there with the wide grin when they know shit show going on in front of them. They're going to have to account for that somewhere within the primary process. They they may get a pass. They may sly may work out. But in a general conversation with the american people with all that we know to be on the line on the line and then some. It's going you're going to have to make that case but now here's the rub. My friend having sat all of that you still have to deal with the american people who actually be fickle as hell when a nice way of putting when it comes to their vote witness. What's going on in california. I can tell you. I think i mentioned to. You can tell you having spent a significant amount of time there lately. I am shot. I think for anyone. It's like going to hawaii or new york or any other sort of prominent cultural place in america. What you think about their attitudes when you visit versus when you've lived there for a while a very different i i've encountered more for right wing people. Oh my god metro. La than than in the dc metro area. You know they're they're real concern. It's not just orange county. You know there's real conservatives there that's that's i think if you can put a put a pin and an exclamation point on that point. Yeah i think people will then begin to understand a whole lot about california. Today people forget california was once a republican state. Yes those routes have not gone away in any given election certainly presidential election you have four to five million californians republicans who don't vote because hey our system caused the election eight o'clock they're still voting at five. Pm they decide what the hell they've called the election. I'll go home. You change that system around where that vote still matters. At five o'clock you'll see and this is a good example of it. It's not just traditional republicanism. But it is a conservatism. Yes that is has gone off the deep end. In many respects as we've seen conservatism across the south in other parts of the country so you make an excellent point then people cannot undersell that which is why larry elder's where larryelder is. I'm gonna take this back to the south. I wanna bring up daniel camera now for those out there. Cameron was one of the most visible black republicans in the country last year. He's kentucky's attorney general and he actually gave a speech at the republican national convention last year. We're gonna play this quick clip even as anarchist's mindlessly tear up american cities while attacking. Police an innocent bystanders. We republicans do recognize those who work in good faith towards peace justice and equality so cameron is best known for is basically either intentionally or unintentionally fumbling the investigation into the killing of briana. Taylor correct. Look if you told me on paper michael as a candidate he's handsome kind of looks like blair underwood right. you know. he's got a decent accent and everything else like that you know. He doesn't sound too souther down to seven in the modern republican party. We've seen this clarence tomato republican party. You can be a black man in the south where the white wife. And that's not necessarily the end of your career. At one point. It was cameras gotta white wife. That's that's not gonna kill him and kentucky and yet when you talk about the kinds of issues that matter to african american voters in some white voters today. I don't know that. I think someone like daniel. Cameron can advance me. Maybe if mitch mcconnell pass away one day. But i don't see daniel cameron being able to advance beyond where he is in kentucky right now with something like brianna taylor hanging around his neck. It's kind of like nikki. Haley and the flag and south carolina. Once you get past your maga base. There's a lot of people who are going to turn their nose of that and certainly black voters even conservative. Black voters may not be happy with how he handled brianna taylor. So you touch on a number of diamond points that i think are going to be important one Socially you know the the composition of the man the family not package what what kentucky and see. They like that again. It's safe right right. He's safe he's not. He's not threatening to white people. How you sound as a black man in the political space matters so he checks a lot of those boxes that make white folks feel good Because that matters in kentucky it helps that. He's a protege of mitch. Mcconnell now having been a protege of mitch mcconnell's and and i can say when i ran for the us senate in two thousand six some of the best political fundraising council. I got i received for mitch mcconnell. But i always give mitch mcconnell his props for what he for the tau his ability to recognize talent right And his ability to help that talent mold. Now in my case. I also had while i have mitch. Mcconnell wants out. I had marion berry on the other. So marion bags combination. All baby. let me tell you that that is that is interesting combination of mentors today. I how to knock on doors and raise money so that there. It is right so for for someone like cameron. It makes a big difference and again giving where countries going. What did what does. The census shown us my friend less white than we were ten years ago. Yes and we're going to be less white tomorrow than we are today. Yup and so the political and this goes back to what i was in the earlier segment for black politicians. You have to know the voice of your people when you go out there and how it's changing you can't represent the political cast that that have has you in the role right. That has you out there playing this particular role. I learned that very early. On when i got elected in the my approach has always been as an elected official that i start at just in politics. Quite honestly jason. I wake up in the morning. And i don't see a republican. I don't see a catholic. I see a black man. Because when i'm out on the streets and i'm encountering people who may or may not like what they see right. They don't know i'm catholic. They don't know that. I'm a republican. They don't know a whole lot of thing but what they do know. Is this black man. I just like over this black man sitting in front of me getting alone this black man in front of me trying to You know Convince me to buy his products. So that's what. I have to contend with an every one of us has to contend with every day. And if you don't have an appreciation and understanding for that As a black politician whose your who you speak to at the end of the day you know you gotta represent somebody so why not represent the group you're from we're going to take a short break when we come back more on the rise of black republicans and michael steele. This is a word jason johnson. Stay tuned i want to tell you about another podcast. You might be interested in the white saviors. It's the story of. We charity. This global children's charity. That was partnered. Up with oprah richard branson and prince harry well. We charity was scandalizing candidate last summer. They admitted to crimes within their charity. They were tangled up in a huge political controversy. 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There is universal. Discontent with joe biden. But what we've seen in particular with joe biden and i think this has become very apparent. Recently you look at the way. The joe biden has been so steadfast about afghanistan. Like he's gonna take the heat from his own. Party's gonna hate. Take the heat from the media. He's like. this is what i want to get done. We're going to get it done. He doesn't show that same energy about voting rights. I mean he's basic answer about voting rights is from the bible. Like all right. Now you guys can make your own bricks. Why don't you just organize more or organiz. Pass these laws right. And and i hear a lot of black voters out there who are furious about this because it's like. Hey i'm you know. I'm giving my blood sweat and tears. Is there a space in the republican party for anybody to say you know what maybe if we weren't just absolutely horrible on voting rights. Maybe we could. We could make some progress here because to me. It seems to me like the republican party. Like i don't know that. I think texas is competitive in two thousand twenty four because basically they're creating laws every fifteen minutes to keep anybody in harris county from voting and that's essentially joy but but all of that is going to get all of that is going to get. I think a lot of it will get tossed out real time when when you actually have a presidential vote on the line. The courts are going to be very very circumspect in that respect. But we'll see i. I don't think it will come to that. I think democratic camp the right democratic candidate can win texas outright. But that's me. And i've always been on the edge of that that spear for a while i think to your broader point the tip of that speer. You brought your broader point though about a black republican speaking voting rights and this environment. The answer is no. I don't i don't i. Who's going to take that. Who's going to take that risk. Who's going to stand up and say i'm sorry. Donald trump did not win the election in two thousand twenty. He perpetuated a big lie. That led to an insurrection in two thousand. Twenty one january six and others who continue to perpetuate that liar doing an enormous disservice to to the republic. We can't even find candidates who will stand up and make that statement so. I don't know how you now get a point where you're going to do complicate things like voting rights when you can't even get people to agree that donald trump lost the election in november of twenty twenty. I'm gonna call this michael. So i'm gonna i'm gonna put you in a star chamber here as we close. What would you say. The party needs to do to actually be appealing to black voters. Is it getting better. Candidates is it fundamental changes in policy or does it just not matter anymore and it's about turning out a base in suppressing. The vote doesn't matter anymore. I i've been in this particular. Crucible since nineteen seventy four. I've been in this crucible in a leadership way since nineteen ninety four. And i can't in all that time between ninety four and today when i first got elected county chairman in prince george's county. I've been in that star chamber with a number of people and we've tried and articulated and put forth ourselves and others ideas you know standing with the lives of reagan and mccain romney and bush trying to make the case Within our own party of the value of the wants par proud relationship between blacks and the gop. This is our political home. No history cannot enright that this is where we started. Whether you like that idea not as irrelevant because there was a time when you know. Blacks voted ninety ten republican And we squandered that we took the cheap way out but the realities to your star chamber scenario is boils down to this. I don't think the party really wants to do that. Because the work required is too hard required sacrificing too much giving up on too much requires stepping away from white nationalism. And i think you know when you buy into rhetoric says that my ancestors are from shithole countries and that men who want to take my rights away from me and want to burn crosses or excuse me tiki torches front lawn of very fine people to offer me. A platinum plan will be enough. Michael steele is the former chair of the orange c. A political analyst for msnbc. He is also the host of the michael steele podcast michael steele. Thanks for joining us. Enjoy my friend. Take days and that's a word for this week. The shows e mail a word at slate dot com. This episode was produced buying on angel and jasmine ellis. Cautious lucia is the managing producer of podcasts late. Gabriel roth is slates editorial director for audio alicia. Montgomery is the executive producer of podcasts. At sleep june. Thomas is senior managing producer of the slate podcast network. Our theme music was produced by don. Will i'm jason johnson tune in next week for words.