"Michael Baumgartner, a Republican Senate candidate from the great state of Washington, has told a reporter at Seattle Met Magazine to "go f--k yourself" after asking him to clarify his position on abortion."
"Earlier this week, Baumgartner joined a wide swath of Republicans in condemning Rep. Todd Akin for his controversial remarks about "legitimate rape." But when Met reporter Josh Feit asked him how his position was different than Rep. Akin’s, Baumgartner ducked and did not clarify."
“I have empathy for the victims of rape. Rape is a tragedy. It’s a terrible thing. Certainly, we need to give victims all the help we can. There is no place in politics for uttering something so ignorant about pregnancy and rape," Baumgartner told Feit.
”I am still a Catholic. I still believe life begins at conception. That is consistent with my Catholic beliefs. And I believe we must protect life," he went on. “Whenever abortion comes up, we get questioned about the exceptions, but no one ever questions the extreme positions on the other side, late-term abortions, no on parental notification.”
"Feit merely published the response, only lightly suggesting that Baumgartner had not clarified. He also noted that Baumgartner has sought to focus his campaign on jobs and ending the war in Afghanistan.
But later that night, Feit received the following email from Baumgartner's personal account, along with a photo of Baumgartner wielding heavy weaponry alongside a Navy Seal who, Baumgartner says, was killed in Afghanistan:
Josh, this is Pat Feeks, a Navy SEAL killed last week in Afghanistan. Take a good look and then go fuck yourself."Baumgartner acknowledged that he had sent the email in a subsequent statement to Feit, but later took it back in an interview with Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO-TV, saying Feit "had it coming."
"Baumgarten has also argued that his email to Feit was private. An important note to political candidates everywhere: When you email a reporter out of the blue in response to his article, that is on the record unless otherwise stated. Especially if you tell the reporter to "go f--k yourself."
"Feit has not been able to get in touch with Baumgartner since the KIRO interview."
Yeah Mike, I really think the big story here is that your privacy was violated. Oops. This may well establish the the pattern of the kind of conversations we can expect to see more of from Republican candidates in the coming weeks and months as they try to explain where they disagree with Akin. This will be particularly hard as they don't.
It will be like trying to explain-whether Romney himself, or a GOP Congressional candidate-how they disagree with the Ryan plan to end Medicare. I got a feeling this may not be the last we hear from Rich Gorka in this campaign.