Steele responded to a question about GOP prospects in 2010 Monday night by telling Fox News that Republicans were unlikely to take back the House: "Not this year," he said. But the GOP leader told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Tuesday that he simply isn't ready to make any kind of prediction and that Republicans now are trying to "put in place good candidates to win and winning as if we will take the House in the fall."
"No one is right now declaratively stating that we will win the House back in this November," Steele said. "If they are saying that, I'd like to see the crystal ball they are looking through, because there is a lot of politics to unfold here, and a lot of races to be settled on both sides of the political tracks."
Earlier Tuesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee aimed to negate Steele's comments, with spokesman Ken Spain saying he thinks the GOP can win back the majority in the House in the upcoming midterm elections.
"The NRCC's goal has always been to recapture the majority in 2010," NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said in a statement. "Independent political analysts and even liberal columnists have stated that Republicans have a very real shot at taking back the majority in 2010. Make no mistake about it, we are playing to win."
Steele said he agreed with the statement, and said Republicans will run tough races this year.
"It was not a slap at me, and there we go, trying to create a diversion and distraction and there is tension on the Republican side," Steele said. "I will not sit back and say, we will take back the House. What I agree with is the RNC and NRCC and others that we will be in play and fight hard to win the seats, and we will be competitive all of the way to the end."