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.”
Admiral replaced pending results of investigation
The Navy said Saturday it is replacing the admiral in command of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Middle East, pending the outcome of an internal investigation into undisclosed accusations of inappropriate judgment.
Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette is being sent back to the USS John C. Stennis’ home port at Bremerton, Wash., in what the Navy calls a temporary reassignment. Rear Adm. Troy M. Shoemaker will assume command of the Stennis strike group until the investigation is completed.
It is highly unusual for the Navy to replace a carrier strike group commander during its deployment.
The Navy did not reveal details of the allegations, citing only an accusation of “inappropriate leadership judgment” that arose during the strike group’s deployment to the Middle East. Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Navy’s chief spokesman, declined to discuss the investigation.
The Stennis group deployed from Bremerton in late August and had entered the Navy 5th Fleet’s area of operations in the Middle East on Oct. 17 after sailing across the Pacific. The Stennis made port visits in Thailand and Malaysia on its way to the Middle East.
It deployed four months earlier than scheduled in response to a request by the commander of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. James Mattis, to maintain two aircraft carriers in the Middle East. The Stennis replaced the USS Enterprise carrier group.
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