Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele appears to be backing away from his pledge to “come after” Republican stimulus supporters earlier this year.

Steele told ABC News last month that “candidates who live in moderate to slightly liberal districts have got to walk a little bit carefully here, because you do not want to put yourself in a position where you’re crossing that line on conservative principles, fiscal principles, because we’ll come after you.”

Some interpreted his remarks to be a warning to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), who supported the stimulus plan. But when recently asked about Crist, who’s facing a conservative opponent in the GOP Senate primary, Steele seemed sympathetic.

"People need to understand, being governor is not as simple as right or left or up or down,'' Steele told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's leadership and it takes a lot of hard work and you've got to balance a lot of things. I think Charlie Crist has spoken to the people of Florida about that and they get to judge it."