Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Tuesday that gay marriage will not be a "top-tier" issue in the midterms. 

Priebus was responding to the Supreme Court's surprise decision on Monday not to hear seven cases on gay marriage, effectively allowing it in five more states, including Priebus's home state of Wisconsin.

While Republicans have been largely silent on the decision, reflecting their read on the politics of the issue, Priebus did criticize the high court's decision before downplaying its role in the elections.

"Certainly the position of people in Wisconsin and other states, I think, should be respected, and they passed resolutions that people there believe marriage should be between one man and one woman, and apparently the courts are now rewriting the laws that are passed in these states," Priebus said on MSNBC.

Priebus was then asked why Republicans were not making an issue out of gay marriage if they felt that way.

"For the fall, I think ... it's about the economy; it’s about ObamaCare; it's about what plans Republicans are gonna put forward to get our spending under control and do something in Washington, and it's about governors' races and about how to get state budgets under control and get people back to work.

"So I don’t think it's a top-tier issue for the midterms, but I do think long term, it's an issue with regard to what we need to do in this country," he added. "No. 1, have a strong economy, a strong defense and a strong society."