Morning Joe, 3/19/13, 8:00 PM ET

Blocking and tackling: The GOP and its future

The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman and the National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke join a conversation on the GOP's attempts at revising itself after the 2012 elections.

Steele: How can GOP reach minorities when its policies are seen as racist?

Updated

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele thinks the Republican Party needs to start looking at its policies, not just its messaging and campaigning strategies.

“How does Reince Priebus reconcile his approach and his agreement with voter registration policies that many in the black community view as anti-black, racist, whatever the term happens to be,” Steele said. “You’ve got to reconcile how people feel about your policies, not just the fact that you’re going to show up. You can show up any time. It’s what you say and what you do when you get there that matters most to people.”

The Republican Party’s gut check 2012 self-assessment: the $10 million “Growth and Opportunity Project” pointed to process and messaging issues as big problems, but Steele points to voter ID laws that largely disenfranchise minorities as a policy the party needs to revaluate its actions more than its words.

When presented with Steele’s argument later on The Daily Rundown, Priebus scoffed at his predecessor’s name and reiterated his standard, thinly veiled complaint about the state of the RNC finances he inherited from Steele. (Steele’s response to the jab? “I won, and he didn’t.”)

“I’m not going to engage in an argument with Michael, but the fact of the matter is you have to have enough resources to be able to have an effective ground game in minority communities…we’ve brought our financial condition back in order so we can actually hire hundred of people across America and that’s what this report calls for.”

Priebus said Obama’s successful organizing methods, and not the Democratic Party, are the real opponent the RNC is fighting–exactly the sort of response Steele said the party is using to keep from having to expose and address their own policies and principles.

“I argue taking the party outside of its comfort zone. A lot of members at the time thought that was a good idea until they realized this is going to require exposure on policy, exposure on principle, exposure on a lot of things that the party just didn’t want to be exposed on,” Steele said.

Watch Priebus on The Daily Rundown:

[workbenchVideo:”51256707”]

Steele: How can GOP reach minorities when its policies are seen as racist?

Updated