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Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele recently sat down with 92Y Producer Jordan Chariton at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to revive the Republican Party.

In part one of our extended interview, Steele urged his party to become the party of civil rights, a party that welcomes the immigrant instead of “repelling” the immigrant, and to realize “the old way of doing politics is not what America’s interested in anymore.”

Steele noted that when the GOP was successful in recent years, the message “wasn’t about treating women as property or looking at them as if they had no say in how to control their lives.”

Steele also reflected on the GOP’s 2012 election defeat, saying that election was over by July or August, even before the infamous 47% tapes came out. Steele says most voters had made up their mind against the GOP and Mitt Romney long before the derogatory tape came out.

Steele also strongly denounced the label attributed to the Republican Party as the “party for the rich.”

“I’ve always been amused at the argument that somehow we have cornered the market on rich. Most of the CEOS of the biggest companies…are Democrats, and they supported Obama, and yet the narrative is they’re in our pocket. I’m like ‘dude, that’s not the reality, they’re not writing checks to the GOP.’”

Do you agree with Steele’s recommendations for the GOP? Comment below!

Part Two of our conversation with Michael Steele on the Tea Party and Trayvon Martin will be released soon!

This interview was filmed at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Jefferson, visit www.jeffersondc.com.