Presumptive Republican nominee for president, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is more closely connected than his campaign would like to admit to the controversial doctor who authored the now-notorious theory that women cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” According to Think Progress, Dr. John Willke has served as an adviser and confidant of the presidential hopeful for years, because, as Romney allegedly told Willke, they “agree on almost everything.”
Willke has been cited by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) as the originator of the canard that has made Akin — a formerly little-known congressman with some strange ideas about rape and the 17th Amendment — into a world-famous millstone around the Republican Party’s neck. Last weekend, he contended in an interview that women’s bodies have a way of “shutting that whole thing down” when impregnated by rape, remarks that have become political napalm in the days that followed.
For its part, the Romney campaign flew into furious denial mode mere hours after Akin’s statements went public. Spokesperson Andrea Saul told Huffington Post, “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.”
However, Dr. Willke, upon whose theories Akin’s remarks were based, served as a campaign advisor and “important surrogate” to Romney in 2008, according to the New York Daily News.
Also, the two men met in 2011 ahead of Romney’s entry into the 2012 Republican primary. Dr. Willke told the U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph that he and Romney have had several private meetings, after one of which, Romney thanked Willke for his support and said, “We agree on almost everything.”
The Romney campaign has declined to comment on Dr. Willke’s statements or the story in the Telegraph.
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.
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