Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said on Saturday that the party has a problem with racism after a spokesman for a conservative group said Mr. Steele was chosen as chairman because he is “a black guy.”
The spokesman, Ian B. Walters, made the comment on Friday night at a dinner in Oxon Hill, Md., that was part of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
“We elected Mike Steele to be the R.N.C. chair because he’s a black guy,” said Mr. Walters, the communications director for the American Conservative Union, which organized the conference. “That was the wrong thing to do.”