Michael Steele: GOP candidates have stayed silent on Trump’s ‘inherent racism’

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele took aim at Republicans around the country on Tuesday for allowing what he called the president's "inherent racism" to take control of the party's messaging.

Speaking on "Morning Joe" as voters headed to the polls around the country, the MSNBC contributor accused Republican House and Senate candidates of complicity with the president's messaging, which the former RNC chief said is racist and misogynistic.

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"It's not like Republicans don't have a narrative they can go out into the country and talk about," Steele said. "But no, they've fallen into this bucket where they feel they can peddle, or at least stay silent on, inherent racism, misogynistic language and bad behavior."

"And somehow they think they can sit back and the American people are going to go, 'we want more of that.' Well, this election is going to be a very important tell on which direction America wants to go," he added.

Steele is a frequent critic of the president and the Republican Party's general course, and in February battled a Conservative Political Action Conference official over the man's claim that Steele had been elected as RNC chairman due to his race.

Trump has faced heavy criticism from members of the media and his own party over a controversial ad in recent days featuring a deported Mexican immigrant who was convicted of killing two police officers. CNN, NBC and Fox News have all rejected the ad, with CNN deeming it "racist."

Steele also emerged as a voice of criticism against Trump's school safety plan earlier this year when he called the president's plan to arm teachers "delusional."

In February, he attacked the "Trumpification" of the GOP, which he said would lead to the party's destruction.

"This Trumpification of the party is not just dangerous, it's deadly to its future, and I think that people have to be aware of that," he said at the time. "[W]hat's happening now is that it has retrenched into a very comfortable corner, and everything outside of that corner is not good for it, in its view. It wants to attack it, it wants to avoid it, it doesn't want to engage with it in an open way."