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Priebus: Election about economy not gaffes

Oct. 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The head of the Republican National Committee says GOP candidates' comments on rape and abortion are "a distraction" and the U.S. election is about the economy.

In an appearance Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said people are not talking about recent high-profile comments about rape and abortion, made by GOP Senate nominees U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock of Indiana.

Akin told a St. Louis TV station Aug. 19 women who are raped have a natural ability to avoid pregnancy if the rape is "legitimate." Mourdock, supported by the Tea Party movement, said during a Tuesday debate life conceived by rape "is something that God intended to happen" and must be protected from abortion.

"But I think the reality is ... I mean overwhelmingly, the people out there are not -- and I promise you -- people are not talking about what Richard Mourdock said," Priebus said.

"... You want people to be disciplined. And obviously, if people misspeak and they cause for no apparent reason, you know, small brush fires on their own, that's a distraction," he said, adding he doesn't think any one party holds a monopoly on gaffes.

"But overall this is still an election about the economy."

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