Remarks by conservative radio host Dennis Prager denying the existence of “rape culture” and the “war on women” during a Republican rally in Sarasota, Florida had local GOP officials backtracking, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
“It’s a gargantuan lie to get votes,” Prager said on Tuesday. “It’s as big a lie as the culture of rape on your campuses. What nonsense. There is a culture of rape on campuses run by the feminist left?”
Prager made his allegations at a rally organized by the Sarasota Republican Party and a local radio station. He was one of the featured speakers, along with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). The event was designed to rally conservative voters to support incumbent Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) in next week’s election.
According to the Herald-Tribune, Scott’s running mate, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, had been announced for the event, but Scott’s campaign said Lopez-Cantera never confirmed that he would appear.
Prager also reffered to a 2007 study commissioned by the Justice Department regarding sexual assault on college campuses “nonsense.” The report found that 19 percent of women reported experiencing “attempted or completed sexual assault” during their studies.
“Do you know what sexual assault means?” Prager asked the audience. “Did you ever look at what counts? An unwanted kiss is considered sexual assault. I’m stunned it’s only 1 in 5. Four out of five women have not gotten an unwanted kiss? My wife gets unwanted kisses every so often.”
Prager also accused Democrats of “trivializing” rape by redefining the definition of it. However, the local party chair, Joe Gruters, distanced himself from Prager’s speech, saying campus sexual assaults are a serious issue.
“It should never have been part of a political discussion at the rally,” Gruters told the Herald-Tribune.
In 2008, Prager said that if a woman could risk causing her husband to seek an affair if she “denied” his advances too many times.
“Telling your husband to control it is a fine idea,” he argued. “But he already does. Every man who is sexually faithful to his wife already engages in daily heroic self-control. He has married knowing he will have to deny his sexual natures desire for variety for the rest of his life. To ask that he also regularly deny himself sex with the one woman in the world with whom he is permitted sex is asking far too much.”
Listen to audio of Prager’s remarks, as posted by Media Matters, below.
[h/t Talking Points Memo]