Ken Blackwell: I can't believe Steele's playing the race card; Update: Barbour piles on

Reportedly he said this to Neil Cavuto, but I’ve scoured the Fox News and Fox Business video pages (and YouTube, natch) and have come up empty. If you’ve seen the clip, please forward it along.

Kenneth Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state who ran against Michael Steele for RNC chairman, said Steele’s argument that he has a “smaller margin of error” beacuse he’s black is “ridiculous.”

“This notion that this disturbing pattern of gaffes and missteps is now being criticized solely because he is black, and that Barack Obama is being criticized for his big-government power grab solely because he is black — that is nonsense,” Blackwell told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto.

“And here’s a person who is leading Lincoln’s party, and now he’s falling back on this crutch of race. That’s disturbing,” Blackwell added.

He didn’t call on him to step down, but as a former candidate for RNC chairman himself and in light of the racial politics involved in Steele potentially being replaced, he’s a natural contender to succeed him. Although I don’t think that’s going to happen. Ace wants the Committee to either remove him (which would take a two-thirds vote of the membership) or accept that he’s there to stay, in which case they should quit tearing him down with leaks. Gingrich, knowing that they probably have no appetite for a major personnel charge seven months from the midterms, is likewise calling on people to get behind him. Which they will, I think. As much as media types like me enjoy obsessing about the palace intrigue and as ominous as it is to have a major social con like Tony Perkins call for an RNC boycott, it’ll be water under the bridge for most conservative donors as the chances of landmark Republican gains in November become more real. When push comes to shove and the time for check-writing arrives, no one wants to punish Steele’s mismanagement in a way that ensures Pelosi will hold on to the House. The money will be there. I think.

Plus, look on the bright side: This “Voyeur” clusterfark has actually helped attract new people to the party. Why, here’s one right now:

Stormy Daniels, the former porn star who has been debating whether to run for Senate in Louisiana for what seems like decades, says she’ll make her decision April 15. More important, she announced Tuesday that if she does run — because apparently she hasn’t had enough time to ponder that decision — she’ll do it as a Republican…

She added: “As is the case with so many of my fellow Louisianans, I have been a registered Democrat throughout my life. But now I cannot help but recognize that over time my libertarian values regarding both money and sex and the legal use of one for the other [are] now best espoused by the Republican Party.”

Big tent! (No pun intended. Or is it?)

Update: Your quote of the day from Haley Barbour:

KING: Is that right? Do you think Michael Steele is held to a different standard or has less margin for error because of the color of his skin, Governor?

BARBOUR: Look — you know — when you’re a fat redneck like me and got an accent like mine, you can say, “Well, they’re going to hold me to a higher standard.”

In fact, I don’t think anybody ever held me to a higher standard than I held myself. That’s the way I was raised. That’s what I was brought up to do. That’s the way it ought to be.

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