Romney and Ryan disagree with Akin rape remark, says campaign
August 19th, 2012
09:02 PM ET
6 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. MormonRN

    I wondered when Romney was going to come out and actually state the church's position on abortion, and truthfully I didn't think it would be before the election. I'm glad he finally stopped trying to pursuade the looney right and just did what was right. It is, and has always been a matter of free-agency that women in these horrible situations navigate with the love and support of their spouses, parents and local church leaders. FINALLY, Romney stood up.

    August 20, 2012 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  2. Questions401

    wow... just wow... GOP stammering some more!

    August 20, 2012 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  3. Bob

    It's too bad the male body doesn't have an unnamed mechanism to shut down a conservative's mouth before he sticks his foot in it. Then again, I could be looking at this completely backward. It could be a case of Darwinian selection having evolved a mechanism to protect our species from electing too many idiots to public office.

    August 20, 2012 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  4. mk1

    Did Romney just make a big mistake himself by saying he and Ryan did not agree? This will get the anti abortion right wing up at arms because they have always been against abortions for everything, including rape and incest. Is this the "severely conservative" that they want? Wait and see if there is a clarification coming. If ever women needed more evidence that the GOP is against them, this just adds more. Any woman who votes GOP is voting against to move the country back to the dark ages and once again to a paternalistic society. Women must stand up and vote for their rights or those on the right will take them away.

    August 20, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  5. Thomas

    I would hope so !

    August 20, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  6. BradKT

    Why don't these two characters have the stones to simply say "The comment was stupid, offensive and wrong." If they are too weak to simply say that about such an obviously ridiculous and offensive statement (is there such a thing as "illegitimate rape"), why should I ever believe that they would be strong enough to stand up to the various interest groups in Washington and to foreign governments around the world?

    August 20, 2012 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  7. Doug

    The real republican party reared it's ugly head today.. Now they swiftly try to hide the idiot.. Believe me folks, if you vote for Romney this type of thing is only the tip of the iceburg.. Obama 2012 !!!!

    August 20, 2012 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  8. SPW

    Gotta draw the line between yourself and the nut jobs in the Tea Party somewhere, I suppose.

    August 20, 2012 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  9. oh boy!

    Akin's stance on abortion is very similar to Ryan's.....

    August 20, 2012 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  10. Caspar Mulders

    Romney and Ryan might not support this madman (I certainly hope they don't), but if they are elected, they will have to rely on creeps like Akin to give them the legislation they want/need. I'd be willing to give Ryan and perhaps even Romney the benefit of the doubt, but the fact remains that there are a great many House- and Senate Republicans who are nothing short of a danger to their country and its citizens. Akin is one of them, but sadly not the only one, nor the worst.

    August 20, 2012 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  11. Facts R Facts

    So why did Ryan vote with Akin to change the definition of rape in another GOP bill about abortion?

    The GOP's War On Women is disgusting.

    August 20, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    MR Akin needs gynaecology101 lesson. as long as the guy ejaculates the woman is at risk of an unwanted pregnancy.... I am completely befuddled by this use of "legitimate rape" my god if a woman is raped = unwilling intercourse out side marriage it is automatically illegitimate, or did I miss something.
    I believe Ryan supports prolife from conception views and Romney has said he would repeal Roe vs Wade,
    Bot a hint of this in the blog post.Why its relevant when spkesperson Henneberg denies things.

    August 20, 2012 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  13. Barry from Wisconsin

    A Senate candidate like Akin is what people get when they mindlessly vote for a party label. While Romney and Ryan disavow the Akin remark, they do support a right-wing agenda that would repeal Roe vs Wade, repeal "Obamacare" (and consign 40 million people to the dumper), cut taxes to funnel more money to the rich while trashing programs that help people (including Social Security and Medicare). The list goes on. I wonder if people will wake up before our country is sold to the wealthy?????

    August 20, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  14. Triple A

    As they should, this guy put his foot in his mouth and made a fool of himself. We all do it, the Right, Left, Middle, Middle Right, Left Middle etc. etc. Move on, we have more problems than this guy yappin. We have a country to save.

    August 20, 2012 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  15. Dubhly

    they are up for election, and that comment went over very poorly. Was there ever any doubt they would come out against it? They guy that said it is already trying to distance himself from it.

    August 20, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  16. Jack in Florida

    What has happened to the Republican party, they are all a bunch of loons!!!!

    August 20, 2012 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  17. patw

    So Romney and Ryan don't believe in the right to life for babies.

    August 20, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  18. awasis

    Well Akin says he doesn't agree with what he said either. Fact is we know what the GOP's stance on women's issues and equality. If you are a woman and vote for the GOP you must be stupid.

    August 20, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  19. Marie MD

    Yeah, yeah, they disagree but they still want to control women's bodies and what others do in their personal lives.
    This leads me to the question of if the altar munster boy is such a catholic . . . . is he using contraception? Have he and his wfie stopped having sex?
    I know it's none of my business but I would like to know how they, as the catholic he claims to be, stopped at three children. Good for the goose good for the gander.

    August 20, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  20. Jim

    Given the current GOP backing by the ultra-religous fundamentalists, Akin's remark doesn't surprise me. And, given that Romney/Ryan are in full campaign mode, it doesn't surprise me that they would step away even after gaining support from the same fundamentalist groups. They are, after all, politicians. And we all know that politicians will say whatever they need to say in order to get the votes.

    August 20, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  21. Rob

    Of course they didn't agree with it. They futher explained, "Not every legitimate rape, only when the woman maintains her composure and still has control over her faculties can she be expected to prevent the pregnancy. Sheesh, everyone knows that!", Romney replied.

    August 20, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  22. wgf

    "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."

    But, according to Ryan, he should not be held responsible for the actions that his staff makes on his behalf and using his name. (ie. SolicitingTARP funds.) So I guess we can't believe this statement until the candidates actually say it in public. That should add a little excitement to the next GOP rally.

    As for Aikin he personifies today's Republican party - ignorance on parade. They practically wallow in it.

    August 20, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  23. megin

    On Akin, Whoopi Goldberg might be able to provide some context. She said Roman Polanski's situation wasn't "rape rape." Maybe we should ask her what it means maybe Akin should of said rape rape.

    August 20, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  24. Walt

    WISCONSIN? Trouble in paradise for alexithymic Mitt and radical Ryan?

    August 20, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  25. Mark

    Don't let these 2 guys fool you women. They will do another to get power. They will put womens health at risk, Did Ryan speak out when WI did this. Did either of these men speak out about the supression of the voters int eh states. NO. The Republican lie to get votes. Don't believe them. Vote Smart in November.

    August 20, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
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