WASHINGTONRepublican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele today released the following statement on the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP:

“On the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, I am honored to join in commemorating the legacy of a man who insisted that this nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, live up to that promise.

“Abraham Lincoln grew up in grinding poverty. He had almost no formal education. Yet armed with an unwavering belief in our nation’s founding ideals, he led this country through its gravest crisis and ensured that this nation had a new birth of freedom.

“I also want to extend my warmest congratulations to the NAACP, which was founded one hundred years ago today, on the centennial of the birth of our country’s first Republican President, President Abraham Lincoln. Over the past century, the NAACP has championed the cause of civil rights. For that we are deeply grateful.

“From the Middle Passage to the march for Civil Rights, the fight for Liberty remains true. My ancestors like the ancestors of countless African-Americans were among the very first Americans. Our stake in this great nation is celebrated in the legacies of President Lincoln and NAACP.

“As the leader of the Party of Lincoln, I realize that we bear a special responsibility to build on the great work of President Lincoln, and all those Americans who have devoted their lives to the cause of liberty.  In honor of their past sacrifices, and for the sake of our future generations, I pledge that the Republican Party will work tirelessly every day to make our founding ideals a reality.

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