(CNN) – Speaking before a friendly crowd in Colorado Thursday, embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made clear he has no intentions of resigning his post.
"Every time something happens, people say 'he should step down,' Steele told a gathering of GOP supporters Greenfield Village, Colorado. "The reality is that's not happening, so stop the noise on that. You don't need the distraction. We're focused on winning."
Steele's comments come a week after the RNC head told a small crowd of Republican donors in Connecticut that the war in Afghanistan is one "of Obama's choosing" and suggested the conflict there might be unwinnable.
"If [Obama's] such a student of history, has he not understood that that's the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? Alright? Because everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed," Steele said then.
The comments soon surfaced on YouTube and quickly prompted William Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, to call for Steele's resignation. A string of other Republicans – including Arizona Sen. John McCain – have also questioned Steele's ability to lead the party in the wake of the remarks.
But digging in his heels, Steele told the Colorado crowd Thursday he is no stranger to the rough-and-tumble of party politics.
"The reality of it is simply this. I've learned politics through some pretty hard knocks," he said. "Hasn't been easy being a Republican in D.C., hasn't been easy being a Republican in Maryland."
When it comes to the war in Afghanistan, Steele also said he is "four square, one thousand percent with our troops on the ground."
"My goodness, do not leave these young men and women without the resources they need," he added. "This war on terrorism was brought to our shores and we must fight it. We will fight it and we will win it. Because that is what the resolve of the American people is on this."