Friday night on "The Rachel Maddow Show," host Rachel Maddow discussed how the campaign to elect former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), never a model of honesty and forthrightness, is now mounting an all-out putsch to scrub portions of its record before the election.  Maddow said that they're working particularly hard to cover up the campaign's history of extreme views on women's rights and abortion.

She began the segment by recalling the New York governor's race from 2010, in which Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo handily beat Republican Carl Paladino.  At once point in the campaign, Paladino mailed out what Maddow believes was the first-ever scratch-and-sniff campaign mailer, a garbage-scented piece of card stock meant to imply that the opposition was "trashy."

"It's crazy he lost, right?" she quipped.  "We keep the Carl Paladino scratch and sniff mailer in a sealed box in our office because it still reeks."

This campaign season has brought another new innovation, the talking political mailer.  In the race between Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MI) and Rep. Todd Akin, mailers with a recording of Akin's claims that women's bodies can keep themselves from becoming pregnant in instances of "legitimate rape," have been sent to homes all over Missouri by a pro-Democratic super PAC.

And while McCaskill's state is trending Republican, she's way out in the lead, because, Maddow said, "Republicans picked a Carl Paladino type to run against her, Todd Akin.  And there are a lot of things that are Neanderthal about Todd Akin."

Not surprisingly, the "gender gap" between McCaskill and her opponent is a wide one.  Similarly, the presidential race, in spite of some gains by Romney since the first debate, women are still heavily favoring President Barack Obama.

"The Republican side knows that it desperately needs to close the gender gap," Maddow said, which is why they are currently doing everything they can to hide the extremity of the Romney campaign's previously stated views on abortion.

Romney/Ryan 2012 has released a new ad claiming that Romney is pro-contraception and believes that there should be a rape and incest exception in abortion laws, then tries to pivot the question to the economy.

"The message here is this is not that important an issue," said Maddow.  "Debt!  That's a real issue, that's really something to vote on!"

"They want to make it sound like his positions are not extreme on these issues," Maddow said, but the record demonstrates otherwise.  She played clips of Romney wholeheartedly endorsing the Blunt Amendment, which would grant employers the power to dictate what services women are offered by third party insurers, but also directly contradicting himself in the second presidential debate.

And in primary debates, earlier this year, Romney said he'd be "delighted" to sign legislation overturning Roe v. Wade.

Who knows?  Maybe the man's got a bad case of "Romnesia."

Watch the clip, embedded via MSNBC, below:

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