John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) January 17, 2013
Pollster Kellyanne Conway told a group of Republican lawmakers to stop talking about rape, according to an article by Politico.
The advice comes in the wake of remarks about rape last year by pro-life candidates Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana, both of whom lost U.S. Senate races in November.
Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Republican from Georgia, said that Akin was “partly right” that women who are raped are unlikely to get pregnant.
We are unaware of any reputable scientific studies that support this claim.
Last Friday, in an attempt to diffuse the controversy, Gingrey’s office threw both Akin and Mourdock under the bus:
I do not defend, nor do I stand by, the remarks made by Rep. Akin and Mr. [Richard] Mourdock. In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued.
Not surprisingly, liberal tweeters (who love seeing the word “rape” and “Republican” in the same sentence) are reveling in the story:
Akin’s comments, of course,were ignorant, garbled nonsense, and many conservatives said so at the time.
By contrast, Mourdock simply said that life is a gift from God, and he believes this to be true even in cases where life results from “that horrible situation of rape”:
The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.
Mourdock repeated the point:
God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.
This is an honorable man who spoke clearly and with conviction. He was wrongly portrayed as a lunatic and is now being thrown under the bus even by Republicans.
Moreover, it’s not as if Mourdock just blurted out his comments apropos of nothing. He spoke about rape only after being asked about his position on abortion during a debate. How would Kellyanne Conway have him respond? Refuse to answer the question?