Steele gets party backing after war remarks

Washington state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser publicly advocated for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to keep his job at an event Sunday in Tacoma.

"I don't think there's any support for changing horses in midstream," Esser said, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Steele was in town for a fundraiser, where he sought to clarify his recent statement that Afghanistan was "a war of Obama's choosing."

"I am 1,000 percent for victory for our men and women in the service," said Steele. "We cannot leave them on the battlefield."

He continued, "This party stands with them. I stand with them. Period. No excuses. No exceptions."

Esser praised Steele for doing a good job clarifying his remarks and said he doubted the chairman was at risk of losing his job.

Meanwhile, several Republicans, including two-time gubernatorial nominee Dino Rossi, are competing in the party's Senate primary. Steele warned against nursing hard feelings after the August 17 vote.

"Whatever candidates they may have supported in the primary doesn't matter on general election day," he said.

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