*RNC chairman Michael Steele has flip-flopped on the race card issue, having once accused Democrats of using it when all else fails, and now pulling it for himself to defend against criticisms coming from within his own party.

The GOP leader told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that, as an African-American, he is being held to a higher standard than his white peers.

“The honest answer is, ‘Yes,'” Steele 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.”

The answer flies in the face of comments he said just last December when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) compared opponents of health care reform to senators who supported slavery in the 19th century.

“It was not a sober moment for Harry Reid at all,” he told CBS. “[I]n fact, I’m kind of sick and tired of the left and Democrats in this country when they get in trouble and don’t get their way and their backs are up against the wall on legislation or whatever it is their trying to do, they go to that card, they play that race card…”

In addition to his critique of Reid, the RNC chair also lashed out at former President Jimmy Carter for saying that criticism of President Barack Obama was racially motivated.

Steele’s appearance on “GMA” is in response to criticism he’s received over the RNC’s expenditures on high-end hotels, private jets, and a bondage-themed nightclub. His answer to the race question capped a week’s worth of largely unfavorable stories about Steele’s competence to manage the party.

Meanwhile, the White House has called Steele’s comments on race “silly.”

“Well, I think that is a fairly silly comment to make,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters today. “I think Michael Steele’s problem isn’t the race card, it’s the credit card.