A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the state of Washington is has apologized today, then retracted his apology hours later for telling a pool reporter to perform a lewd — if anatomically impossible — act upon himself.
It was in an email interview with Seattle-based political blogger Josh Felt that Senate hopeful Michael Baumgartner let the expletive fly. Felt was hoping to get the candidate’s take on the maelstrom of controversy that has erupted from Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)’s remarks in an interview over the weekend. Akin notoriously posited that if a woman is raped, her body has a way of “shutting that whole thing down” and preventing a pregnancy, thus negating the need for rape and incest exemptions in the Republican Party’s stringent new anti-abortion initiatives.
Baumgartner, a Washington state senator who has done diplomatic work in Iraq and Afghanistan, claimed that the media’s focus on Akin’s statements and inattention to the wars in those countries had frustrated him to the point of the vulgar outburst. In an email dated August 21, he wrote to Felt, “Josh, this is Pat Feeks, a Navy SEAL killed last week in Afghanistan. Take a good look and then go fuck yourself.”
Baumgartner released a statement earlier today apologizing for his language.
“This was a follow-up e-mail to a previous conversation with a local blogger,” he wrote. “I apologize to Josh for my strong language.”
Baumgartner is running for U.S. Senate against two-term Democratic incumbent US Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Recent polls have shown Cantwell leading Baumgartner by 11 points.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.