RNC Chairman Michael Steele has strongly condemned Democrats who have criticized the town hall protests by opponents of health care reform. Last month, Steele said:
We are not inciting anyone to go out and destroy anything. We’re not organizing the town halls; their senators are. But instead of focusing on the fact that people are genuinely concerned about what is going on, this administration has the arrogance, the arrogance to look down at my mother, to look down at my co-worker.
Yesterday at Howard University, Steele encountered his own “genuinely concerned” citizen — 23-year-old college grad/activist Amanda Duzak. Duzak stood up and interrupted Steele, arguing that “everyone in this country should have access to good health care” and cited the case of her own mother who died of cancer six months ago because she couldn’t afford her prescription chemotherapy medications. The audience applauded her.
Steele responded by chastising Duzak and accusing her of pulling antics to get on TV. “So people go out to town halls, they go to the community, and they’re like this. (SHAKES ARMS) It makes for great TV. You’ll probably make it tonight. Enjoy it.” The audience immediately went “Ohhh” and “Oooo.” Watch it:
On the Huffington Post, Dave Zirin also notes that Steele’s “effort to connect with young black students got off to a rather cringe-worthy start when right before the billed ‘student dialogue’ two dozen white members of area young Republicans arrived to sit in the reserved first two rows of the packed room.”