Michael Steele: RNC Criticism Grounded in Racism

(AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is suggesting reporters are more critical of the RNC than its Democratic counterpart because he is a black man.

In an interview with Washingtonian magazine excerpted on the Plum Line, Steele says he doesn't "see stories about the internal operations of the DNC that I see about this operation."

"Why? Is it because Michael Steele is the chairman, or is it because a black man is chairman?" he asks.

In the other portion of the story posted, Steele says he is prone to taking things too far. "And I get checked on that, just as when I was a young boy and I pushed the envelope too far and my Mama was there to check me," he says.

As Greg Sargent notes, Steele said last November that "I don't play the race card, I don't play the race game, the way some tend to want to do."

He has also said he is "sick and tired" of liberals who "play that race card, that slavery card, that civil rights card" when "their backs are up against the wall."

Update, 5:41 p.m.: Asked about the comment, Steele told ABC News: "It's not because of my race, but race is more of a factor than it ordinarily would be -- just as it is for Barack Obama."

"The general mindset when you see, hear or read about an African American, you think, politically, Democrat," he added. "And all of a sudden, you've got this brother who's a Republican and you go, 'OK now, what does that look like and how does it manifest itself?' That's it. More curiosity than anything else. It's just one of the things you've got to live with."