San Marco Properties
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Claude Nolan
Geer Services, Inc.
Charles Parish
Jan 112013

Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — “Legitimate rape,” the least-expected controversy of 2012, is back.

At a breakfast with businesspeople in Cobb County, Georgia, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) offered a partial defense-medical exegesis of the whole kerfuffle over Todd Akin, the Missouri congressman and Senate candidate who stirred up the national campaign pot last year with his claim that women’s bodies could prevent pregnancy in the case of “legitimate rape.”

Gingrey is a conservative congressman who worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist. He made the comments at a breakfast Thursday hosted by the Smyrna Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, the Marietta Daily Journal’s Jon Gilooly reported:

“And in Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ – and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say, ‘I was raped’: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”

Gingrey pointed out that he had been an ob-gyn since 1975.

“And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things,” he’s quoted as saying. “It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right, wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”

Of Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who suggested pregnancies from rape are intended by God, Gingrey reportedly said, “Mourdock basically said, ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God, essentially.’ Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election.”

When asked whether the quotes were accurate, Gingrey’s communications director, Jen Talaber, said she was not at the meeting but that she has called reporter Gilooly to inquire.

Gingrey has already said his comments are being misconstrued as a defense of Akin and Mourdock.

“At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion a central theme of the presidential campaign,” Gingrey said Friday in a statement Talaber provided to ABC News.

“I do not defend, nor do I stand by, the remarks made by Rep. Akin and Mr. Mourdock. In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Nov 062012

Office of the Treasurer, State of Indiana(NEW YORK) — The Republican Party push to take control of the Senate is likely sunk now that Tea Party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock has failed in his bid to replace Republican Sen. Richard Lugar.

Conservative Democrat Joe Donnelly, a New York City-born congressman from the state’s 2nd district, defeated Mourdock, who made Lugar a lame duck when he ousted him in their GOP primary race earlier this year.

ABC News has called the race for Donnelly, who leads Mourdock by two percentage points, 48-46, with 70 percent of precincts reporting.

The state became a focus for outside groups — about $8.6 million flowed in from out of the state — when Mourdock denied the incumbent a seventh term, making the case that Lugar was too moderate.

A close race down the stretch, the decisive moment might have come during an Oct. 23 debate when Mourdock suggested that pregnancies that resulted from rape were part of “God’s plan.”

He called a news conference the next morning to “clarify” his remarks, but never apologized, instead claiming the media “mistook and twisted” his words. The uproar, he said, was symptomatic of “what’s wrong with Washington.”

“God creates life, and that was my point,” he told reporters. “God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oct 282012

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Sunday morning on “This Week,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended the controversial comments made by Richard Mourdock, in which he suggested that pregnancies resulting from rape were “intended” by God. Gingrich said that the Indiana Republican Senate’s candidate’s words reflected the position of “virtually every Catholic” in the United States.

“My response is, if you listen to what Mourdock actually said, he said what virtually every Catholic and every fundamentalist in the country believes, life begins at conception,” Gingrich said. “Now, this seems to be fixated by the Democrats, but the radical on abortion is Obama, who as a state senator voted three times in favor of allowing doctors to kill babies in the eighth and ninth month who were born, having survived late-term abortion.”

Gingrich further defended Mourdock and asked why some people, including President Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, could not “get over” the comments.

“He also immediately issued a clarification saying he was referring to the act of conception, and he condemned rape.  Romney has condemned — I mean, one part of this is nonsense.  Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape.  OK, so why can’t people like Stephanie Cutter get over it?  We all condemn rape.”

Gingrich appeared on “This Week” following Cutter, who criticized Mitt Romney for not asking Mourdock to pull an ad featuring the GOP presidential nominee.

“Just this past week we saw it, when he wouldn’t take down his ad for Richard Mourdock, who had — you know, it’s a now famous comment that it’s God’s will if a woman gets pregnant through rape.  He’s not willing to stand up when it matters,” Cutter said.

I also asked Gingrich about the upcoming election and he predicted Romney would win the popular vote with 53 percent. He also pushed back against the idea suggested by some that an Obama victory in the Electoral College, but a popular vote loss would cause some in the GOP to characterize the win as illegitimate.

“I mean, we’re a nation of law.  We’re going to obey the law…I think he’s actually going to end up winning around 53-47,” Gingrich said. “And I think it’s very unlikely he can win a significant popular victory vote and not carry the Electoral College.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oct 262012

JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages(KENOSHA, Wis.) – Vice President Joe Biden commented for the first time Friday on the two Republican Senate candidates who made controversial comments about women and rape.  Biden scolded Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan for not taking a harsher stance against Senate candidates Todd Akin (Missouri) and Richard Mourdock (Indiana).

“Here’s the truth, they made it very, very clear, made it very clear that they do not believe a woman has a right to control her own body. They can’t even, they can’t even get up the gumption to condemn the statements made by two of their candidates for United States Senate,” Biden told the crowd at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

“It’s not enough to tell me you don’t agree. It’s having the moral courage to stand up and say what they said was wrong, simply wrong,” he added.

Earlier this week, Mourdock said during a debate against his Democratic rival in Indiana that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”

Romney recently appeared in an advertisement on behalf of Mourdock, but since the incident, he has not asked him to pull the campaign ad.  A spokesperson for Romney has said the candidate disavows Mourdock’s statement regarding rape.

“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock, and Mr. Mourdock’s comments do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views. We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him,” Andrea Saul, spokesperson for Romney, said in a statement Wednesday.

The Republican presidential candidate ignored questions from reporters about Mourdock’s comments during a stop in Cincinnati on Thursday and has yet to answer any questions on the topic.

President Obama rebuked Mourdock’s comments in an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday.

“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas,” Obama said on the show. “Let me make a very simple proposition, rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me, don’t make any sense to me.”

In August, Akin said that “legitimate rape” does not normally lead to pregnancy.  At the time, Biden did not comment on the Akin case, but Romney and Ryan did ask for Akin to step down from the race.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oct 252012

Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images(LAS ANGELES) – President Obama weighed in on controversial comments about rape made by Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana, calling it an example of why women should vote for him on Nov. 6 but stopping short of explicitly tying his opponent, Mitt Romney, to the same views.

“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas,” Obama said in an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Wednesday. “Let me make a very simple proposition, rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me, don’t make any sense to me.”

During a debate with his anti-abortion Democratic rival Tuesday night, Mourdock said that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” He has stood by the remark as a reflection of his belief that life begins at conception.

Obama, who supports abortion rights, has emphasized the issue in his bid for a second term, warning women that some Republicans would like to see abortion outlawed in all cases.

“This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions,” he told Leno, without mentioning Romney by name. “Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors, and for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff oftentimes without any information is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election.”

The Republican nominee opposes abortion, but says he would allow exceptions for rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.

While Obama was more circumspect, top Democrats and Obama campaign officials have overtly tied Romney to Mourdock’s remark and his views on abortion. The GOP presidential nominee has appeared in one TV ad for Republican U.S. Senate candidates this year – an ad for Mourdock. Romney has disavowed the comments but not asked for the ad to be taken down.

“Not surprisingly, Romney is still standing by his endorsement and is refusing to ask that the ad be pulled down,” deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter wrote in an email blast to supporters Wednesday night with a video clip to Mourdock and Romney together.

“It’s a grim reminder of something he’s trying desperately to hide in the final weeks of this election: Romney has campaigned as a severe conservative, supports severely conservative candidates, and would be a severely conservative president — especially on issues important to women,” she wrote.

Obama appeared on the Tonight Show in the midst of his 48-hour, nonstop campaign swing through eight states. It was his third visit with Leno as president and first this year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio