NOT TONIGHT, REPUBLICANS, BILL FLORES HAS A HEADACHE…. If Republicans are going to take the House, they’re going to have to win races like the one in Texas’ 17th congressional district, a center-right district represented by Democrat Chet Edwards. At this point, millionaire oil executive Bill Flores (R) appears well positioned to win, despite Edwards’ exceptional career.

But before Flores celebrates, he may want to take some Advil.

The Central Texas district is home to a high percentage of seniors, which is why it seemed odd to see the GOP candidate adopt the right’s controversial approach to undermining Social Security. Indeed, on Thursday, Flores explained in a television appearance that he’s “not philosophically opposed to raising the retirement age” to 70. He added that he wants Social Security to be there for him, “and I accept the fact I may have to raise my retirement age for that.”

The next day, Flores used a novel approach to try to walk back his own comments.

Republican congressional candidate Bill Flores, blaming a headache for a verbal miscue, has backed away from saying he’s “not philosophically opposed” to raising the Social Security retirement age for future recipients. […]

“Voters should be assured that I absolutely do not support raising the retirement age for Social Security,” he said in a statement. […]

Thursday, Flores, a retired oil and gas executive from Bryan, called program host Brad Watson and asked him not to air his response on Social Security because he had a headache during the interview and the remarks did not properly characterize his position.

I’ve been keeping an eye on quite a few campaigns this year, and I’ve seen some doozies when candidates get caught saying something embarrassing. Usually, they go with “that was taken out of context,” even when it wasn’t, or “I never said that,” even when they did.

But Flores is breaking new, creative ground here. On Thursday, he was open to raising the retirement age; on Friday, he wasn’t. The difference was … a headache?

I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, but like everyone else, I can think of times I’ve had headaches. Not once have they caused me to forget the basics of my own political ideology.

In a couple of weeks, if anyone’s considering midterm-election awards, I think Bill Flores has wrapped up the “Most Laughable Excuse” category.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.