Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Former Republican Party Chairman Says He Won’t Vote For Trump

Rejecting the "racist underbelly."

Last updated on October 24, 2016, at 2:38 p.m. ET

Posted on October 21, 2016, at 12:32 a.m. ET

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Steele at a debate last year.

Michael Steele, who led the Republican Party from 2009 to 2011, became the latest senior Republican figure to say he would not vote for Donald Trump.

“I will not be voting for Clinton,” Steele told a dinner at the 40th anniversary of Mother Jones in San Francisco Thursday, during an interview with Clara Jeffery and David Corn. “I will not be voting for Trump either.”

Steele, a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, said that Trump has "captured that racist underbelly, that frustration, that angry underbelly of American life and gave voice to that."

"I was damn near puking during the debates," Steele said, adding that he believes Trump only represents 30% of the Republican Party.

Steele is the third former Republican National Committee Chairman to say he won't support Trump; the others are Marc Racicot and Mel Martinez.

The current RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus, in 2012 made bringing minority voters into the Republican Party a central goal. He has supported Trump.

  • Picture of Ben Smith

    Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed and is based in New York.

    Contact Ben Smith at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

  • Picture of Sheera Frenkel

    Sheera Frenkel is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in San Francisco. She has reported from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and across the Middle East. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 4A53 A35C 06BE 5339 E9B6 D54E 73A6 0F6A E252 A50F

    Contact Sheera Frenkel at