Another Republican Senate candidate made controversial comments Monday on rape and pregnancy, which can almost directly be attributed to the Todd Akin fallout in Missouri. Tom Smith, the Republican candidate running against incumbent Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, compared having a child out of wedlock to rape when explaining his explicitly pro-life views.
Robert Vickers, Patriot News: In light of Congressman Akin’s comments, is there any situation that you think a woman should have access to an abortion?
Tom Smith: My stance is on record and it’s very simplistic: I’m pro-life, period. And what that Congressman said, I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that.
Vickers: So in cases of incest or rape…
Laura Olson, Post-Gazette: No exceptions?
Smith: No exceptions.
Mark Scolforo, Associated Press: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?
Smith: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.
Scolforo: Similar how?
Smith: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.
Scolforo: That’s similar to rape?
Smith: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.
And there’s the effect of Akin’s comments on other Republicans. It’s safe to say that Smith probably wouldn’t have been asked this question without the storm Akin has created over the past week.
Smith was forced to backtrack when a reporter brought the topic back up, saying he “did not say that” rape was analogous to having a child out of wedlock.
This statement won’t take as much of a toll on Republicans’ election hopes in the Senate, as Smith was trailing Casey by nearly 20 points in their race.
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