Steele Backs Off Afghan War Smack Talk RNC chair rushes to declare support for troops By M. Morris, Newser Staff Posted Jul 2, 2010 4:20 PM CDT 27 comments Comments Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele addresses the media at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Jan. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner) (Newser) – Having enraged conservatives and delighted Democrats by criticizing the decision to engage in Afghanistan—a policy advanced by President Bush and supported by congressional Republicans—the RNC chairman is scrambling to defuse the controversy, reports the Washington Post. "For the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war," Steele said today. In a video released this week, Steele says President Obama was "trying to be cute by half" by emphasizing Afghanistan; he now says the war is "necessary," notes Politico. But right-wing leading light William Kristol has already called on Steele to resign. Steele is "rooting for failure," a DNC rep said. "Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked."