Washington (CNN) – The first African-American to be elected governor said Monday the Republican Party's first African-American chairman should stop complaining and "Do the job."
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, whose stewardship of the GOP has come under fire in recent weeks, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday that he is being held to a higher standard because he's black. But former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder told CNN's John King that Steele "should have never responded that way."
"He has broken the barriers. He's gotten the job," said Wilder, who won Virginia's governorship in 1989. "Do the job."
Wilder added, "I have never used race as a badge nor a barrier. And I would hope that Michael understands that he speaks for a lot of people."
In the ABC interview, Steele defended his leadership of the RNC amid recent reports he has engaged in excessive spending. The interview was Steele's first since reports surfaced that the RNC paid for a night out at a risqué Hollywood nightclub.
Wilder's full interview appeared Monday on CNN's "John King, USA."