Days away from officially receiving his party’s nomination for president, Mitt Romney sat down with Fox News and harshly criticized President Obama’s campaign for trying to tie him to Rep. Todd Akin’s now-infamous remarks about rape and abortion. He qualified the attempts to use the remarks to tarnish the whole GOP as “sad,” saying it marked a new low for Democrats, reports the Associated Press. (An excerpt from the interview is embedded below.)
“It really is sad, isn’t it, with all the issues that America faces for the Obama campaign to continue to stoop to such a low level,” Romney said. Still, the former Massachusetts governor recognized that Akin’s comments, in which he said women’s bodies have a way of shutting down to avoid pregnancy from a “legitimate” rape, “hurts our party and I think is damaging to women.”
In once again condemning Akin’s remarks, Romney offered what the Los Angeles Times calls “an unusual defense of his Massachusetts health care plan,” referring to himself as “the guy who was able to get health care for all the women and men in my state.”
Although Obama has never directly tied Akin to Romney, the Democratic National Committee has released an ad suggesting that Akin’s views are the same as those of Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. John McCain acknowledged that Akin’s comments are a problem for the party and that the lawmaker “would not be welcome by Republicans in the United States Senate,” reports the Washington Post. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus once again called for Akin to drop out of the Senate race, telling CNN that his continued presence “makes it more difficult” for Republicans to take over the Senate in November.