Michael Steele Plays Race Card? White House Says He Should Worry About His Credit Card

06/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

The president, apparently, is not amused with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's assertion that the two of them, as African Americans, face smaller margins for political error.

Asked about Steele's comment, following a week's worth of bad press for the RNC over lavish expenditures, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs acidly replied:

"I think that it is a very silly comment to make. I think Michael Steele's problem isn't the race card, it's the credit card."

Delivered at Monday's morning gaggle, Gibb's retort elicited a few icy ooohs from the gathering of reporters. Asked if he had prepped the line (which he clearly had), Gibbs replied that he may have been tinkering with how to deliver the rhetorical dagger earlier in the morning.

Appearing on "Good Morning America" Monday, Steele was asked whether he was being criticized unfairly over expenditures on items such as private jet travel, high-end hotels, and bondage-themed nightclubs, because of his race.

"The honest answer is, 'Yes,'" he said. "Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. A lot of folks do. It's a different role for me to play and others to play and that's just the reality of it. But you just take that as a part of the nature of it."

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