Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday insisted that "small brush fires" like former Gov. John Sununu's suggestion that former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed President Barack Obama because he's black were just distractions.
Speaking to CNN last week, Sununu wondered whether Powell's endorsement was "based on issues, or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama."
"I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him," the top Romney surrogate said.
But During a Sunday interview with CNN's Candy Crowley, Priebus dismissed Sununu's comment as a "distraction."
"You want people to be disciplined," the RNC chairman explained. "And obviously if people misspeak and they cause -- for no apparent reason -- small brush fires on their own, that's a distraction. But overall, this is still an election about the economy, about the president's failed broken promises and now we have this issue with Libya."
Crowley also asked Priebus if Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's assertion that pregnancies from rape were "something that God intended to happen" hurt the GOP brand.
"I promise you, people out there are not talking about what Richard Mourdock said," Priebus replied.
Watch this video from CNN's State of the Union, broadcast Oct. 28, 2012.