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Santorum defends ‘good man’ Todd Akin

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 15:20 EDT
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum  (AFP)
 
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Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) said Tuesday that Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), whose comments about “legitimate rape” stirred up a rhetorical firestorm, is a “good man” who just made “a ridiculous statement.”

Speaking to CBS News from Tampa, Santorum added that Akin “didn’t do a very good job in dealing with the problems that came from that statement, and he’s suffering the consequences for it.”

Akin’s suggestion that pregnancy doesn’t happen in cases of “legitimate rape” kicked off a tidal wave of criticism of him and the Republican Party’s platform, which seeks to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), was dragged into that controversy once it was revealed that he co-sponsored a bill with Akin that sought to restrict federal assistance to rape victims unless they suffered what Akin and Ryan called “forcible rape.” Ryan has since insisted that’s just “stock language” for Republicans.

The party, along with Romney and Ryan, has since shunned Akin and called for him to drop his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri. Akin has refused, and a key faction of religious fundamentalists have since rallied to his side, and among them are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and Santorum, both of whom are speaking at the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC).

For his part, Santorum’s views on rape and abortion are virtually identical to Akin’s and many other Republicans’. Appearing at a Republican primary debate last August, Santorum said he believes that rape victims are needlessly traumatized by abortion, and explained that doctors who perform abortions “should be criminally charged.” He’s also suggested that were his own daughter raped, he’d encourage her to carry her attacker’s child to term. Santorum even espoused some of his own pseudo-science earlier this year, telling Fox News that he thinks abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, even though it does not. He’s also endorsed a so-called “personhood” bill that sought to classify fertilized embryos as “people” — a proposal Romney supports as well — and suggested that the use of contraception is “a grievous moral wrong.”

Santorum will be speaking Tuesday night at the RNC, where he’s expected to ask his 255 delegates to support Romney’s candidacy.

This video is from CBS News, broadcast Tuesday, August 28, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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