The Washington Times - October 28, 2012, 09:53AM

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday that issues such as the economy and the Libyan consulate attack are much more important to the nation’s voters than controversial comments made by Republican Senate candidates Rep. W. Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana.

“I don’t think any party has a monopoly on gaffes,” Mr. Priebus said in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Clearly … people running for office misspeak and they make mistakes,” Mr. Priebus said. “But the reality is overwhelmingly … the people out there are not talking about what Richard Mourdock said.”

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Voters are much more concerned about the missteps of the Obama administration, Mr. Priebus said.

“There are two things out there people are talking about: They’re talking about the economy, and they’re talking about what happened in Benghazi,” he told host Candy Crowley.

“Why, after a cry for help to Leon Panetta and after the president gave a directive to protect — he claims he gave a directive to protect those people, Panetta … now claims that he didn’t, he told the personnel to stand down,” he said. “So either the president didn’t give the directive or the president isn’t being truthful or perhaps Leon Panetta acted as commander-in-chief. This is the subject right now that people are talking about, and the economy. Not Richard Mourdock.”

Mr. Mourdock and Mr. Akin both have come under fire for comments about rape and abortion.