President Barack Obama on Wednesday mocked Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), saying that he had “somehow missed science class” after the congressman suggested that victims of “legitimate rape” could not get pregnant.
“Recently some of you have been paying attention to the commentary about the senator [sic] from Missouri,” the president told a group of supporters and NBA stars at a fundraiser in New York City. “The interesting thing here is that this is an individual who sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology but somehow missed science class.”
“And it’s representative of the desire to go backwards instead of forwards and fight fights that we thought were settled 20 or 30 years ago,” Obama added.
During an interview over the weekend, Akin had claimed that women were not likely to get pregnant because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin later said he misspoke and told Fox News host Mike Huckabee that he actually “was talking about forcible rape,” a term used in a bill that he co-sponsored with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
But Ryan recently refused to explain what he meant when he tried to change the definition of rape to so-called “forcible rape” for those victims seeking government-funded abortions.
“Rape is rape,” Ryan told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano. “Rape is rape, period. End of story.”
“So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?” Delano pressed.
“Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape,” Ryan insisted.
Ryan’s comments appeared to echo Obama’s response earlier in the week to Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks.
“The views are offensive,” the president explained to reporters. “Rape is rape. The idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people, and it certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”