If a woman was raped and becomes pregnant-Akin is skeptical that a rape has really happened. Romney is pulling out all the stops to distance himself. Indeed, he has gone so far as to make a liar-yet again of Paul Ryan-who actually believes rape victims should be forced to have their rape babies.
Yet Romney is out claiming that Ryan doesn't believe that. So the question begs what does Ryan have to say about this and when was his epiphany?
"A Romney spokeswoman issued a statement Sunday night that said Romney and his running mate -- Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin -- differed with Akin on the matter."
"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.
"The issue is particularly sensitive for Ryan, a devout Catholic and staunch anti-abortion politician who has previously expressed opposition to abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is endangered."
As an aside, the whole idea that you can oppose abortion on every other grounds and yet have it available only for the life of the mother is of course an illusion. If abortion is restricted and outlawed in every other case, even if it's technically legal for the life of the mother, very few medical institutions will have it available.
Under such a scenario it would be very difficult to get it done safely as most health facilities would not want to offer it even for that case if it were illegal in all others. The reality is we'd be back in the time of back alley abortions with coat hangers.
So has Ryan had this epiphany? There's reason to doubt it. How much safer do American women feel after Romney's statement? Romney tried again:
"In a phoner with National Review, Mitt Romney goes a few steps further than his spokespeople in criticizing the Missouri Senate candidate:
“Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.” ..."Whatever the last 36 hours mean for Akin's candidacy, they have started the week with a focus on social issues and probably ensured that Romney and Paul Ryan face a round of questions about their views on abortion and women's health."
“I have an entirely different view,” Romney said. “What he said is entirely without merit and he should correct it.”
The beauty of Akin's meltdown-is it a gaffe or did he just tell us what he really thinks?-is that if he loses the GOP has no hope of taking back the Senate.
But ti's going to be hard for Romney-Ryan to distance themselves from it. For one thing Ryan supported last year's draconian "Personhood Bill" that redeifined the definition of rape.
"They've been trying to distance themselves from it -- but Congressman Ryan has already partnered with Akin on a whole host of issues that restrict women's ability to make their own health care decisions," said a statement by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. "This kind of 'leadership' is dangerously wrong for women."
No doubt about that. How does Ryan in particular distance himself from Akin as he supported the GOP scheme to change the definition of rape?
And despite Romney's best efforts, others with the campaign have further muddied the waters:
"A Romney-Ryan campaign official, speaking on condition of not being identified, confirmed to CNN that Ryan's personal view opposes abortion in the case of rape. The campaign official said Ryan's stance differed with Romney's view, which was described in the statement Sunday and is the formal position of the GOP presidential ticket."
In truth the fine distinctions Romney tries to draw won't work. American women have no doubt that if there's anything he's not about it's their right to choose and their larger health care needs-see the Ryan Medicare plan for more on that.