RNC's Priebus weighs in on convention, 'birther' issue, Akin
August 26th, 2012
10:23 AM ET
11 years ago

RNC's Priebus weighs in on convention, 'birther' issue, Akin

(CNN) - Following the decision to delay the start of GOP convention speeches and events until Tuesday afternoon, the Republican National Committee chairman said Sunday it was "the right thing to do" and confirmed most of Monday's planned events would be folded into the remainder of the week's schedule.

"So far the word is that almost all of it is going to be accommodated into the Tuesday/Wednesday programming and everything is going to move ahead," Reince Priebus said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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"Everything is going to be back to normal on Tuesday," he continued, though he told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley some of the speeches may be shorter than originally planned.

On the program Sunday, Priebus also weighed in on a comment made by presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney on Friday that critics have labeled an apparent swipe at the so-called birther controversy regarding President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship.

Speaking in Michigan, his native state, Romney said Friday: "I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born at Henry Ford Hospital, I was born at Harper Hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."

Some Democrats quickly pounced on the comment, calling it an inappropriate slam against the president that only fuels claims by those who question where the president was born.

Priebus, however, said people were taking the remark too seriously. Pointing to the fact that Obama himself has poked fun at the "birther" issue, Priebus said the political climate needs to lighten up.

"Have we really gotten to the point where we can't have any levity at all in politics? I mean, we have gotten to a place in politics that is ridiculous, and no one can say anything that is remotely humorous," Priebus said.

The RNC chairman also continued his call for Rep. Todd Akin to drop his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri, saying Akin's decision to stay in the race will hurt the GOP's chance to pick up the much-needed Senate seat this fall.

"I think that it is more difficult. I think that is very clear," Priebus said. "He has time to get out of the race, and he ought to put the mission of liberty and freedom ahead of himself."

Akin sparked an outcry a week ago when he claimed a woman's body is capable of preventing pregnancy during cases of what he called "legitimate rape" - an argument that Priebus labeled "biologically stupid" on Sunday. Following Akin's remark, a large number of top Republicans - including Priebus and Romney - called on the congressman to withdraw his candidacy in the Senate race against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat.

On Friday, however, Akin vowed once again to stay in the running.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney's money is under protection in a Swiss account, Cayman Island, etc. while the Romney's get Secret Service Protection paid for by taxpayers. How stupid can Americans be.

    August 26, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Vote for Seamus on Kolob

    Republicans, who are biologically stupid, are best represented by idiots like Akin, Preibus, Head, Nugent, Walker, Cheney, Perry, Palin, Bachman, Walsh, Nixon, Joe McCarthy, Harding, and many other wingnut crazies.

    August 26, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. BBear

    Jokes about the President's ethnicity, Americanism, or religion are not funny. Someone at CNN should point that out to Candy Crowley. So are "fat jokes" fair game now, "Just because a little humour in the campaign won't hurt anything"?

    August 26, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. TheTraveler

    The clowns are all assembled ... On with the show!

    August 26, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Thomas

    His mother was a US citizen, the physical place of his birth doesn't matter, the GOP is lame...

    Thank you !

    August 26, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Lib

    I always trust in the Lord.He knows ROmney best. ROmney is an evil man who just wants to have another notch on his belt and nothing more. Romney has no wish to be a good president. He is into taking the money and run.

    August 26, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Suzanne

    The most offensive part of Rom(O)ney's "birther joke" - not even remotely funny and never, ever intended as a joke - was the "we" reference at the end of the sentence. Who the heck is "we"? His "we" certainly doesn't include me and I suspect his "we" just might correlate with the 1% or perhaps with white, middle-aged men in general. Romney's been running for President since 2000 or before and he thinks he can 'buy' the White House and both he and his wife seem to think they "deserve" it and on and on and on and on. He's full of promises, declarations, proclamations, and announcements, none of which address the "how" of what he's saying. Not happenin'......... Obama/Biden 2012

    August 26, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Suzanne

    I wish the very best for the people who live in ALL of Florida with Hurricane Isaac roaring their way. However, I can't help but wonder at Mother Nature 'stallling' the RNC Convention - some things are just "meant to be". Too bad, so sad!

    August 26, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Internet Child

    Leave it to Democrats to get butthurt over little jokes. How about Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a c**t and then donating $1 million to Obama's campaign? Where's the outrage over that?

    August 26, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Slightly Left of Center

    an argument that Priebus labeled "biologically stupid"......
    Good description for 85% of washington!

    August 26, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. chuck

    Believe me Claudia, REALLT STUPID, Wisconsinites have become the worst-OMG they think Romney ., Ryan and Walker care about the middle class..soooo dumb...

    August 26, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. davidfarrar

    Romney has just slapped Obama across his face with his own birth certificate and is now challenging Obama to either put up or shut up. And what does Obama do in response to this diss? He runs away with his tail between his legs, hollering 'racism', 'racism', rather than try and bring his two phony birth certificates into court - pathetic!

    Obama - nobody else, just Obama - has either lied about where he was born or lied about being born in Kenya. Either way, he has lied about his place of birth and rightfully called his qualifications for the office of the Presidency into question. People, white or black, are completely justified in asking for further proof that Obama has met his Constitutional qualifications.

    If Obama wanted to put an end to his birth certificate charade, he could have done so on any number of occasions by simply bringing his real birth certificates into court. But that's not his game. His game is to stoke the dying embers of racism in this country so he can use it for his own political gain.

    ex animo

    August 26, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Donald in CA

    God is punishing the gop for all that lying about the president by giving them bad weather. Romney believes that because he is wealty he should be president. The sad part is a lot of poor right wingers agree with him. Remember, there is a lot more white folks on welfare then people of color.

    August 26, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Kevin Jones

    Mr. Priebus,
    Where's your sense of humor? If Romney can joke about Obama's heritage why can't Akin joke about rape? Why? Because both statements represent tone deaf white male Republican idiots – and you can't swing a cat without hitting one these days.

    August 26, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. paul

    Hey, Preibus, don't you know the strip clubs in Tampa will be hurt by the Republicans skipping a day.

    August 26, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |

    Issac bears down on the brood of vipers in Tampa. Obama/Biden 2012!

    August 27, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |

    Just another liefest coming up in Tampa. The unhinged GOBP tea potty are desperate.

    August 27, 2012 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
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