Embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he’s not about to resign, so people should just drop all the speculation about his job security.
“Every time something happens, you know, people say, ‘Oh, he should step down, he should step down!’” Steele told a group of GOP supporters in Colorado on Thursday. “Well, the reality of it is, that’s not happening, so stop the noise on that. No. 2, you don’t need the distraction. We’re focused on winning.”
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These were Steele’s first public remarks since he was busted last week for telling GOP donors in Connecticut that the conflict in Afghanistan is a “war of Obama’s choosing” and probably not winnable. The comments prompted widespread criticism from members of Congress, and several leading conservatives, including Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney, called for Steele’s resignation.
But Steele’s job has stayed safe for two reasons: He’s still got the support of Republican officials outside Washington; and Steele and the RNC have become increasingly irrelevant as donors and strategists shift their attention to the GOP’s House and Senate party committees.
Still, the RNC chairman, who is scheduled to address Nevada’s state GOP convention Friday, tried to clean up his remarks on Afghanistan, insisting to the Republican faithful that he is “foursquare, 1,000 percent with our troops on the ground.”
“This war on terrorism was brought to our shores, and we must fight it. We must fight it,” Steele said Thursday. “And we will fight it, and we will win it, because that is what the resolve of the American people is on this.”