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Michael Steele Fires Back At Critics: 'I Ain't Going Anywhere'

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Eleni Angelides contributed reporting.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele fired back at critics who have called for his resignation in the wake of his recent suggestion that Afghanistan was a war "of Obama's choosing."

In the embattled RNC chair's first public appearance since making the comments, Steele told a crowd of Republicans in Colorado Thursday that he's staying put.

"I ain't going anywhere," Steele declared. "I'm here. I'm here... Look, every time something happens, people go, 'Oh, you should step down, step down. Well, the reality of it is that's not happening, so stop the noise on that."

The RNC chairman did not apologize for his latest remarks, but quipped that his "individuality" at times puts him at odds with his party. "[It] gets me in a little trouble -- but that's O.K.," he said.

Steele's reaction to calls for him to step down should come as no surprise given how he has responded to similar demands in the past.

Earlier this year, Steele lashed out at Republican detractors by telling them "to get a life," and adding, "If you don't want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way."

And Steele has signaled he doesn't lose any sleep at night from his missteps. When asked in January if he might be more careful in choosing his words to avoid inadvertent verbal gaffes, he replied: "Oh, no. Accidents happen, baby."

Though Steele has many detractors in both parties, take a look at several key Republicans who have called on the RNC chairman to step down:

Who's Called For Michael Steele's Resignation
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