Paul Ryan backs off Akin feeding frenzy
RALEIGH, North Carolina, August 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - GOP vice presidential contender Paul Ryan said that he has no plans to keep hounding embattled Missouri Congressman Todd Akin to drop out of the Senate race over his “legitimate rape” remarks now that the lawmaker has said he has does not plan to withdraw.
Ryan acknowledged that he had at first urged Akin to give up the race, but on his campaign plane Wednesday he told reporters that he wouldn’t pursue the question, and that he had no regrets co-sponsoring pro-life legislation with Akin to tighten federal restrictions on abortion funding.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had joined the strident Democratic and media rebukes over Akin’s comments, calling them “inexcusable.” Ryan had reportedly called Akin in a private phone call Monday, one Akin later confirmed was a conversation about stepping down.
“His statements were outrageous, over the pale. I don’t know anybody who would agree with that. Rape is rape, period, end of story,” said Ryan in a television interview in Pittsburgh, according to the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, the Romney-Ryan campaign re-emphasized this week that a Romney administration would not oppose aborting unborn children conceived in rape.
Although he was still “proud of my record” of pro-life without exceptions, Ryan told reporters that “Mitt Romney is going to be president, and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction.”
Akin, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, said Tuesday that he planned to remain in the race, and in a new television ad apologized for stating that pregnancy rarely occurred in instances of “legitimate rape.”
“Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them,” Akin says. “The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims.”