Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What's With Republicans and Rape?

Yet another GOP candidate weighs in on rape. Makes one wonder, eh?

What's With Republicans and Rape?

You'd think candidates for public office, especially high office such as the U.S. Senate, would learn.

You'd think after one such candidate says something stupid that garners national attention of the sort no candidate would wish for that other candidates would get the message and steer clear of saying the same sort of stupid thing.

And yet Republican candidates for Senate don't seem to understand that when it comes to subjects of women and rape it's best to shut your trap.

So now we have Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock saying that if a woman becomes pregnant as the result of a rape then "that's something God intended."

Amazing.

Mourdock's comment came near the end of a debate with Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly in a race that's tight and closely watched nationally.

Afterwards Mourdock said he didn't mean to say God intended the rape, but that God is the only who can create life.

Too late.

His remarks will get piled on the already popular remarks of Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin who famously claimed that in a "legitimate rape" of a woman the female body "has ways" of naturally preventing pregnancy.

(Dems are now using a clip of his comment in `talking' campaign brochures.)

Add to that the assertion of Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Tom Smith that rape and having a child out of wedlock are "similar" and you have what can be called a pattern.

(There was also Idaho Republican state Sen. Chuck Winder who back in March suggested some women might not understand when they've been raped and then falsely use a claim of rape as an excuse to get an abortion. I am not making this up.)

I have no idea why men running for high office feel they need to talk about women and rape at all. If their point is they're pro-life, why not just say so and let that stand?

But I wonder how many times men running for high office need to see rape comments blow up in their faces before they get the message: talk about the economy, talk about your values, but shut your trap about women and rape.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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