The chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Wednesday refused to "walk back" claims that the Republican "war on women" was as fictional as a "war on caterpillars."
In a interview that last week, Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt asked RNC Chairman Reince Priebus how big of a problem it was for Republicans that recent polls showed President Barack Obama with a 2-1 lead among female voters in battleground states.
“If Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that the Republicans have a war on caterpillars then we would have problems with caterpillars,” Priebus explained. “The fact of the matter is that it’s a fiction.”
On Wednesday, MSNBC host Thomas Roberts gave Priebus a chance to revise his remarks.
"I'm not going to walk back," the RNC chairman insisted. "I'll double down on it. This war on women is a fiction that the Democrats have created. And the real war on women is the war that this president has put forward on the American people by not following through on his promises, by having women disproportionately effected by the Obama economy."
"How can you say that it's a fiction, though, if you stand of the record of what the Republican Party has said and done?" Roberts wondered, noting that all of the remaining GOP presidential candidates had promised to eliminate funds for family planning and Republican-controlled state legislatures had pushed through 90 anti-abortion bills in 2011.
"Because it is a fiction, Thomas," Priebus replied. "It's a fiction because, number one, there is no war on women. ... The fact of the matter is that the real war on women, the actual thing that I think most women in this country are most concerned about, which is a good job, a good family, being able to live the American dream, provide for your kids and your family, that war on women is being perpetrated by President Barack Obama."
Roberts pointed out that even Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was attempting to turn the "war on women" rhetoric against the Democrats.
"We're just borrowing your messaging," Priebus explained. "And pointing out to the American people that this war on women fiction that the Democrats have tried to perpetrate upon us is a war that if you actually look at what matters most to Americans, which is jobs and the economy, it's a war that this president is losing."
"You can't discount the fact that we almost took the government to the brink of closing Planned Parenthood," Thomas pressed.
"The world will continue," the RNC chairman quipped. "I don't buy your argument. I happen to believe that you can be pro-women and pro-life. You don't. That's the problem, Thomas."
Watch to the video below from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast on April 11, 2012.