Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), with his wife, in a ceremonial swearing-in photo with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Image: AP.
Todd Akin was wrong about "legitimate rape," says a veteran congressman. But he wasn't all wrong on rape and pregnancy.
At a Cobb Chamber of Commerce talk Thursday, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), was asked about then-Rep. Akin's notorious comments about women's bodies being able to prevent pregnancy during rape, reports the Marietta Daily Journal.
"In Missouri, Todd Akin ... was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, 'Look, in a legitimate rape situation' - and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that's pretty tough and might on some occasion say, 'Hey, I was raped.' That's what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don't find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman's body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He's partly right on that."
Gingrey pointed out that he had been an OB-GYN since 1975.
In 2012 Akin got crushed in his Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, which had been considered an easy pick-up opportunity for Republicans. In Indiana, GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock blew a winnable race at least party through his riff about rape-induced pregnancies being "God's will".
Sean Higgins, senior editorial writer at The Washington Examiner, sees a lesson for other GOP candidates. "There are certain subjects that you probably should just not talk about at a public breakfast if you are an elected official, especially if you are a Republican, and especially if your party just took a massive shellacking at the ballot box last November in part because of loose talk by some of the dimmer members of your party on the same subject."
Via The Washington Examiner and Politix analysis.