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GOP chairman Reince Priebus last night on Greta van Susteren's show on Fox, finally admitting the real reason Republicans want Todd Akin to quit: they don't think he can win.
Media bias is one thing, but I also think that when something is so blatantly obvious, that you're putting our party in a worse scenario in this particular race, that you ought to step up and do the right thing. [...] I would hope that he would see it the same way and realize that, you know what, we'd probably be better off if you allowed one of these other folks to run in your place. [...] I think it's an important race for us to win in Missouri and if Congressman Akin believes the same things that he would do the right thing to do which is to put ourselves in a stronger position to win that seat.
It's been obvious all along that the Republican freakout over Akin didn't reflect genuine outrage over what Akin said. After all, Akin's position is the exact same position that Mitt Romney held until Monday, it's the exact same position that Paul Ryan continues to hold, and it's the exact same position that the GOP's platform endorsed just this week. It wasn't the substance of what Akin said that worried them—it was the political implications of the way he said it.
And now, as Priebus admitted last night, Republicans want Akin to quit the race not because he offended them, but because they think a different candidate will give them a better shot at winning. They aren't angry with Akin because of what he believes—they're angry because he admitted it out loud. And if they get their way, whoever takes Akin's place will be fighting for the exact same agenda that he was trying to defend.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:05 AM PDT.