Michael Steele Suggests Racist Motives Behind RNC Criticism: 'Because A Black Man Is Chairman'

RNC Chairman and designated GOP sparkplug Michael Steele finds himself the center of attention once again this week -- this time for an interview published in February's issue of Washingtonian magazine in which he charges his critics with racism.

Near the end of the story, called "Up In The Air" by Paul West, Steele implies that he and the RNC face more scrutiny because he is black:

Steele acknowledges that at times he has a tendency to take 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."

But there's an edge to his voice when he talks about a double standard that he believes has been applied by his critics, and he posits racism as the cause: "I don'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?"

This is, of course, the same Michael Steele who had previously vowed not to play the race card. The GOP chairman said last October he didn't take part in race politics in an interview with Univision, during which he declined to condemn Glenn Beck's assertion that Obama is a "racist."

Last September, Steele responded to statements by former President Jimmy Carter that a lot of Obama's criticism was "based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American," by accusing him of turning to "blind charges of racism, where none exist."