It is easy to understand why so many top Republicans are working to get Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race. Not only could he cost them a seat and potentially control of the Senate, but his problem is already starting to metastasize to other Republican candidates.
Normally the exact nuances of a vice presidential candidate’s position on abortion are not a big topic in elections, but because of Akin’s controversy, Paul Ryan has started to be asked very pointed questions about the similarity to his own views. Recently he was asked about it by KDKA in Pittsburgh.
Delano: “Should abortions to be available to women who are raped?”
Ryan: “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
Despite Ryan’s views, Romney says he will allow exceptions for rape and incest. Ryan also seemed to back away from earlier views on types of rape.
The Akin controversy is forcing Ryan to dance awkwardly around the fact that even though he doesn’t share Akin’s original statement that “legitimate rape” won’t result in pregnancy, he does share Akin’s opinion that there should be no exemption for rape. Akin was trying to argue rape doesn’t result in pregnancy, so there is no need for a rape exemption. Ryan apparently accepts the scientific fact that rape can result in pregnancy, but he still thinks a women who is raped should be forced to carry their rapist’s child to term.
That is a position far outside the mainstream. According to Gallup only about 20 percent of American think abortion should be illegal under all circumstances.
Clearly both the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign agree that every day they are talking about Ryan’s extreme position on abortion instead of the economy is a very bad day for Romney.