[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/26/art.getty.huckabee.jpg caption="Huckabee said Michael Steele's skin color is an asset when it comes to challenging President Obama."](CNN) - Mike Huckabee said over the weekend that Michael Steele is doing "a good job" as chairman of the Republican National Committee - in part because of the color of his skin.
"I think [Steele] has sought to be, first of all, a very strong spokesperson," Huckabee told The Tennessean on Saturday, before speaking at a church service. "I'm not sure anyone else could be as effective in challenging the Obama policies any more so than Michael."
Asked why that's the case, Huckabee answered: "Well, I believe that that no one is gonna be able to use the racism charge."
But Huckabee seemed to quickly move away from that assertion, and went on to argue that Steele is an effective leader because he has experience at many levels of politics.
"No one's gonna be able to say that Michael doesn't understand, because he has gone up through the ranks," he said. "He has been an elected official I think there's value there. Sometimes our chairman has been a person, maybe, who has never held public office."
Just last week, Steele made some racial comments of his own, arguing that Obama avoided press scrutiny during the presidential campaign because he is black.
"He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office," Steele said while filling in on Bill Bennett's radio show last Friday.
UPDATE: Ed Rollins, Mike Huckabee's former campaign manager, weighed in on Huckabee's comments on Tuesday.
Rollins said on CNN's "The Situation Room" that Huckabee "should have been focusing and not signing books," as he was during the interview.
"I think the bottom line here is, Michael Steele is chairman of our party not because he an African-American," Rollins said. "I think to a certain extent, whatever Mike was trying to say was not thought out. He is a guy who has had tremendous support in the African-American community as a governor, got 45 percent of the vote when he was running."