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From Todd Akin to Tom Smith

<p>&lt;p&gt;I wish I knew what was going on with Republican U.S.&lt;/p&gt;</p>
Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Tom Smith
Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Tom Smith

I wish I knew what was going on with Republican U.S. Senate candidates lately; maybe there's something in the water.

We've seen GOP candidates making very strange decisions in Missouri, Ohio, the state of WashingtonWisconsin, and now in Pennsylvania.

"What [Todd Akin] said I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that," [Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith] told reporters Monday, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, during a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg Monday -- referring to Akin's suggestion that women's bodies can block a pregnancy from rape."I lived something similar to that with my own family," Smith said. He then described his daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy -- from consensual sex."She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views but fortunately for me ... she chose the way I thought. Now don't get me wrong. It wasn't rape."Smith affirmed that he believed his daughter's pregnancy from consensual sex was similar to a rape. "Put yourself in a father's position, yes, I mean it is similar."

If you're thinking to yourself, "There's no way a U.S. Senate candidate would say this, especially after Todd Akin's flap last week," ThinkProgress has the audio. [Update: a video clip is also available.]

Keep in mind, this isn't some fringe Republican activist. Tom Smith, a Tea Partier, won the statewide GOP primary; he introduced vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan just last week at an event in Carnegie, Pennsylvania; and he was on hand for a fundraiser with Mitt Romney just last month.

And in this guy's mind, a rape pregnancy and out-of-wedlock pregnancy are "similar." Indeed, let's also not overlook this choice of words regarding his daughter: "[F]ortunately for me ... she chose the way I thought." Unbelievable.

As best as I can tell, the Romney campaign has not yet commented, but one can hope they'll be asked. Smith is running against incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D) this year. Casey is widely expected to win.