On Wednesday, Paul Ryan caused a stir during an interview in Pittsburgh, when he tried to denounce Todd Akin, but was reminded that he co-sponsored a bill with Akin to redefine “rape.” The vice presidential hopeful said there’s “no splitting hairs over rape,” ignoring the fact that he pushed for federal legislation last year that would have split hairs over rape.
Tricia noted earlier that Ryan was asked related questions yesterday during an interview with a CBS affiliate near the Tennessee/Virginia border, and if you missed his response, the clip is well worth checking out.
For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the transcript:
REPORTER: …Specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped.
RYAN: I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life. But let’s remember, I’m joining the Romney-Ryan ticket. And the president makes policy. And the president, in this case the future President Mitt Romney, has exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother, which is a vast improvement of where we are right now.
Why is Mitt Romney trying to shut down media discussion of this topic? Probably because of answers like these.
In this case, when Ryan says “the method of conception” is irrelevant, he’s talking about rape. In other words, the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee clearly believes the government should force women to take their pregnancy to term if they are impregnated by a rapist. Republicans can only distance themselves so much from Todd Akin before we realize they share his views.
But, he adds, his perspective isn’t terribly important, because he’d only be vice president, and Romney isn’t inclined to be as extreme as Ryan is. It’s not like vice presidents ever get elevated to the presidency, right? (Nine of the nation’s 44 chief executives were vice presidents who got elevated to the presidency during their term.)
Here’s a follow-up question for those with access to Ryan: if tragedy were to strike and you became president at some point during the next four years, how would you intend to shape policy to force rape victims to take their pregnancies to term?