Romney and Ryan disagree with Akin rape remark, says campaign
August 19th, 2012
09:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney and Ryan disagree with Akin rape remark, says campaign

(CNN) – A spokeswoman for Mitt Romney wrote late Sunday that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee and his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, did not share Rep. Todd Akin's sentiments on rape.

"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.

Earlier Sunday, Akin said he "misspoke" when he claimed "legitimate rape" rarely resulted in pregnancy.

Answering a question about whether or not he thought abortion should be legal in the case of rape, Akin explained his opposition by citing unnamed bodily responses he said prevented pregnancy.

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said of rape-induced pregnancy in an interview with KTVI. A clip of the interview was posted online by the liberal super PAC American Bridge.

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin continued. He did not provide an explanation for what constituted "legitimate rape."

CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: Abortion • Mitt Romney
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Boohincus

    Nothing like good old 19th century common sense to put things in perspective. C'mon, y'all, lets all head on back when life was better. When tree-ditional values like these were the rule and not the exception. Way to go, Congressman Akin!

    August 20, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  2. FactChecker

    Romney and Ryan say they disagree but people like Akin will have much more power and influence if Romney is president.

    August 20, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  3. Steven Posey

    And yet Ryan sponsored a bill to make abortions in rape and incest cases illegal. That's a funny way to disagree with something.

    August 20, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  4. Squigman

    Great sound bite. Not believable, but a good sound bite.

    August 20, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  5. James PDX

    Ooh, the magical rape shut down system every woman comes equipped with. It's irrefutable proof of God!

    August 20, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  6. ccw

    Do everything you can to keep this monster out of the senate

    August 20, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  7. Lenny Pincus

    Paul Ryan does not disagree with this dingbat. He opposes all abortions and supports the "personhood" of a ferrilized egg.

    August 20, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  8. pbernasc

    Now this is really interesting .. so Romney and Ryan support an exception in the abortion debate.
    Now, who defines what constitutes rape?

    August 20, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  9. Jawaka

    So he believes that a woman can get pregnant from being raped. Good that's progress. Now if only move on to the whole evolution debate now.

    August 20, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  10. Tax Avoidance Pioneer

    I bet they'll be campaigning with him by next weekend.

    August 20, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  11. B.V. Archimboldi

    Forget about abortion for a minute. His statement reveals a lot more about his attitudes toward women in general than his stance on abortion. We already knew his stance on abortion as it applies to rape victims – it's not the first time he's been asked the question.

    What I find disturbing is that his first thought about rape is that the victim is lying. The first thing to come out of his mouth: "If it's a legitimate rape....". To suggest as he did that a victims body will resist a pregnancy is tantamount to charging that the rape victims who do get pregnant are less believable (if they were really raped, their bodies would not have allowed them to get pregnant, right?).

    No matter what issues one might prioritize, pragmatic as he or she might be, to seat a man who thinks like Akin in the House Of Representatives is a disgrace. Let's just hope the disgrace ends here.

    August 20, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  12. fekt

    So, just so we are clear. Romney and Ryan support abortion.

    August 20, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  13. zelea

    Horrible, disgusting human being.

    August 20, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  14. Irskan

    Headline correction: Romney and Ryan told by campaign to say they disagree with Akin rape remark

    August 20, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  15. nmmell08

    Like they had a choice. If they supported the remark I would fear for Romney's and Ryan's lives b/c a lot of rape victims would be very very angry

    August 20, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  16. San

    If it was the primary, he would have agreed.

    August 20, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  17. Phil Thomas

    Give these guys a few months or a call from their puppet master and R&R will have a new statement on this. The flip flop flows deep in them

    August 20, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  18. WellDuh

    Childish word games over ambiguous wording. His intended comments were obviously more like "most pregnancies claimed as rape are actually the result of repeated encounters with lovers". To begin with single encounters, rape or not, do not favor pregnancy. Further violent rape tends to introduce blood - a known if poor contraceptive - into the reproductive tract as well as other damages tending to lead to spontaneous abortion. Additionally the majority of fertile women in the US are on medical contraceptives. All truth if not quite the same as saying there is no significant chance of getting pregnant from rape. However these factors are not present in the increasing drug rape scene. His argument's weakness.

    Nevertheless, his point is that women (especially teens) who claim rape for social or lifestyle convenience and to qualify for abortion - they need to be the ones who explain how there is no difference in circumstances to women actually physically raped. The women of convenience need to explain why society has trouble supporting the full blown needs of 100% truthfully raped women in court and social services.

    Should services and treatment of women who are merely in need of convenience for a lapse in judgement be the same as for those subjected to the greater trauma of violent or even the emotional trauma of drug rape? Is the remorse the same as the feeling of violation?

    August 20, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  19. Ant

    Do those people speak before they think? He does not care about poor people because they already have a safety net. Women should not worry about how many kids she wants to have even in rape she should keep it too, that's outrage.

    August 20, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  20. george of the jungle

    they jump on biden butbthis guy gets a pass. where is all the moral out rage??? oh thtas right it is repos being phoney again.

    August 20, 2012 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  21. Joseph

    Mr Akin needs an education on women's antomy and biology. This guy is not fit to hold office, period. He has the potential to misjudge on critical issues if this is any guide.
    Joseph
    Port Moresby

    August 20, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  22. Kalashnikova

    Ryan has gone on the record, repeatedly, as against abortions even for rape/incest victims. How stupid does he think women are?

    Anyone who tries to force me to bear a rape-baby is going to end up choking to death on his own gonads, I can promise you that.

    August 20, 2012 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  23. Jane

    My goodness, is the Rombot finally showing some spine? You mean he didn't just say "those weren't the words I would have used....". Maybe there's a shred of human decency in there after all....not enough to let him anywhere near the White House, but still....

    August 20, 2012 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  24. Logic N LA

    So, both Ryan and Romney see a time where abortion is OK? How will they justify this with their comment about the ACA health law, the required insurance coverage in the law, thier personal religious beliefs and those of their respective church's?
    Sounds like a bit of a change in position to me!

    August 20, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  25. Cindy

    OK, now let me see if I get this right. Now Romney is for abortion? Did another flop occur?

    August 20, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
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