Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin

The is no better sign that the Romney campaign is really concerned about the damage Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin could do to its campaign than the extraordinary lengths they are going to avoid talking about the issue of abortion. Romney did a local interview with KCNC-TV but with the one stipulation from the campaign that the candidate not be asked about abortion. From the Hill:

A television reporter in Denver said that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign stipulated that he did not want to be asked about the topic of abortion or the controversial comments made by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), the Republican candidate for Missouri’s Senate seat, during an interview taped Thursday.

The Romney campaign said later Thursday that “the matter was being addressed,” and that as a policy, it does not place restrictions on reporters. It also pointed to reports that other news stations granted interviews Thursday were not put under similar restrictions as evidence Romney was not trying to skirt the issue.

The Akin controversy has become an uncomfortable reminder that Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan shares Akin’s belief that there should be no abortion exemption for rape. Ryan believes that if you are brutally raped and as a result get pregnant, you should be legally required to carry your rapist’s child to term. This position is well outside the mainstream and sounds incredibly callous, so the Romney really campaign doesn’t want to talk about it, hoping it will go away.