4687725On Friday, the news broke that former Tennessee GOP leader Chip Saltsman, who ran Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, had distributed a CD to Republican National Committee members for Christmas featuring a song called "Barack the Magic Negro."
Saltsman hopes to become RNC chairman. The current chair, Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, who is seeking another term, said he was "shocked and appalled" by the decision to send the CD, which also included songs like "Love Client #9" and "Down on the Farm with Al Gore."
"Barack the Magic Negro" is a parody set to the music of "Puff The Magic Dragon" and sung by an Al Sharpton imitator; it references a Los Angeles Times column of the same name.
"Yeah the guy from the LA paper said [Obama] made guilty whites feel good," the Sharpton-imitator sings on the track, which aired on Rush Limbaugh's radio show. "They'll vote for him and not for me 'cause he's not from the hood."
You can hear the whole thing here.
Saltsman has defended his decision to send the CD, releasing a statement saying that "our party leaders should...refuse to pander to [the media's] desire for scandal."
And former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell – who is black, as well as perhaps the leading contender for the RNC position – has come to Saltsman's defense, knocking "hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race."
"When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal," he said. "All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people."
This morning, however, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer, who has reportedly been mulling a run for the RNC chair, released a statement supporting candidates for the chairmanship who have taken a "firm position" on Saltsman's decision to distribute the "racially-insulting song":
"As the GOP Chairman in one of our nation's most ethnically and culturally diverse states, I am especially disappointed by the inappropriate words and actions we've seen over the past few days," he said. "I am proud of those party leaders who have stood up in firm opposition to this type of behavior."
"Actions such as the distribution of this CD, regardless of intent, only serves to promote divisiveness and distracts us from our common goal of building our party," added Greer.
Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, who is also seeking the top GOP post, has criticized Saltsman as well.
"In my opinion, this isn't funny and its in bad taste," he said. "Just as important, anything that paints the GOP as being motivated in our criticism of President-elect Obama by anything other than a difference in philosophy does a disservice to our party."
In related news, RNC members will hold a special candidates' forum to help them make sense of the crowded field of contenders for the top job on January 7th.