Republican candidate assumes women at Ryan event are ‘talking about shoes’

By David Edwards
Friday, August 31, 2012 11:42 EDT
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Tom Smith at Paul Ryan campaign event
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A Republican Senate candidate from Pennsylvania who said that out-of-wedlock pregnancy was similar to rape is being accused of a second sexist comment after video emerged of him telling women at a Paul Ryan campaign event that he assumed they were “talking about shoes.”

Pennsylvania Democrats released video on Thursday that shows Tom Smith approaching two women — who he called “girls — at an event in Pittsburgh.

“Alright, what are we talking about here?” Smith asks, taking the women by the hand. “Two girls together talking.”

“We’re talking about the power of petite women,” one woman responds.

“My guess would’ve been you were talking about shoes,” Smith replies.

The video also contains a clip from a Monday event at the Pennsylvania Press Club, where Smith said that President Barack Obama and Sen. Bob Casey trying to fix the economy was like when a “your wife wrecks the car” and tries to “take it to the beauty salon to get it fixed.”

Earlier this week, Smith had compared rape to out-of-wedlock sex after he was asked to comment on Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) assertion that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”

“I’m pro-life, period. And what that Congressman said, I do not agree with at all,” Smith said, adding that he did not support any exceptions to abortion bans, including in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.

“How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will?” The Associated Press’ Mark Scolforo wondered.

“I lived something similar to that with my own family,” Smith said, explaining that his daughter had gotten pregnant “out of wedlock.”

“That’s similar to rape?” Scolforo pressed.

“No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar,” Smith replied. “A life is a life, and it needs protected. Who’s going to protect it? We have to. I mean that’s, I believe life begins at conception. I’m not going to argue about the method of conception. It’s a life, and I’m pro-life. It’s that simple.”

Watch this video, uploaded to YouTube Aug. 30, 2012.

(h/t: Think Progress)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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