Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh blasted Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Ken Mehlman's plans to apologize for his party's notorious Southern Strategy at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Responding to Mehlman's planned renunciation of the race-based electoral strategy, Limbaugh accused Republicans of planning "to go bend over and grab the ankles."
Though President Bush has refused to speak to the NAACP throughout his presidency, Mehlman's July 14 speech to the NAACP renounced Republican efforts to capitalize politically on white Southerners' backlash against civil rights-era legislation. In his prepared remarks, Mehlman said, "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."
In discussing the topic, Limbaugh -- whom Bush described as a "good friend" in an August 2004 appearance on Limbaugh's show -- referred repeatedly to the group as the "NAALCP," which he has explained stands for the "National Association for the Advancement of Liberal Colored People."
From the July 14 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: President Bush skipping this week's annual NAALCP convention for the fifth straight year, but that's not preventing the White House and the Republican Party from waging a drive to woo African-American voters. Ken Mehlman of the RNC is going to the NAALCP convention, and he is basically going to tell them how the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln lost its way with African-American voters over the years and how determined the party is to get them back. He said, "We can't call ourselves a true majority unless we reach out to African-Americans and make it the party of Lincoln. There was a time when African-American support turned Democrat, and we didn't do enough to retain it. Now we want to build on the gains we made in the last election."
Know what he's going to do? He's going to go down there and basically apologize for what has come to be known as the Southern Strategy, popularized in the Nixon administration. He's going to go down there and apologize for it. In the midst of all of this, in the midst of all that's going on, once again, Republicans are going to go bend over and grab the ankles. They're going to the NAALCP. This is like going into Hyannisport and apologizing to [Sen.] Ted Kennedy [D-MA] for whatever and expecting him to become a supporter. It's like showing up at the [Sen.] Chuck Schumer [D-NY]-Joe Wilson press conference in 20 minutes and saying, "Okay, Ambassador Wilson, we apologize. We hope you'll support us. We can't become a majority party until people like you are voting for us." It is just -- it's absolutely absurd.