President Obama was on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last night. After Obama finished off Donald Trump with the quip, “This all dates back to when we were growing up in Kenya,” Leno read Republican Senate candidate Robert Mourdock’s comment about rape is something God intended to happen and all life is a gift even if it comes from rape.
The President replied that “rape is rape” and this is the reason why mostly male politicians should stay out of women’s health care decisions.
LENO: The senate candidate Richard Mourdock. He made a statement today — or I — or at least I saw it today. I want quote what he said. He said — he was asked about rape and — “I struggled with it, myself, for a long time, but I came to realize life is a gift from God. And even if life begins in a horrible situation of rape, it is something God intended to happen ” which — I mean, this seems like we’re back to Todd Akin time again.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well — you know, I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so, these various distinctions about rape and, you know — don’t make too much sense to me. Don’t make any sense to me. The second thing this underscores, though, this is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians — mostly male — making decisions about women’s health care decisions. I — women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors. And, you know, for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff, often times without any information, is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election. You’ve got a Supreme Court that — you know, typically a president is gonna have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term. And, you know, Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance. You’ve got issues like Planned Parenthood where, you know, that organization provides millions of women cervical cancer screenings, mammograms — all kinds of basic healthcare.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: And so I think it’s really important for us to — to understand that women are capable of making these decisions and that these are not just women’s issues. These are family issues.
The audience showed their entusiasm for Obama’s position with clapping and cheering. It obviously resonated deeply.
Robert Mourdock’s comments reveal that the extremism of the Republican Party is not contained to Paul Ryan and Todd Akin of forcible rape and legitimate rape infamy. While people who pay attention to politics know that the Republican Party’s current platform is as extreme as Ryan, Akin and Mourdock, the general public doesn’t know that. But now with Mourdock, the sense that this extremism is a part of the GOP instead of a fringe element may start to stick.
Mitt Romney endorsed Mourdock in an ad that started playing on Monday and Romney has yet to ask Mourdock to apologize let alone pull his ad. What kind of leader would Mitt Romney be? He can’t even stand up to a man who isn’t even elected yet. He can’t stand up to Rush Limbaugh.
Romney is starting to look like the appeaser he is, and the country doesn’t need a President appeasing the extremists in his party – especially not the current tea steeped Republican party. We have had just about enough of them over the last two years as they proposed record setting levels of anti-woman legislation around the country.
Rape is rape. It’s a crime. It’s also none of Mourdock’s, Romney’s, Akin’s, or Ryan’s business, though I am wondering why they seem so concerned with the result of rape instead of trying to stop rape from happening. The Violence Against Women Act is still sitting unsigned in the House where Ryan obstructs jobs bills in order to control women’s bodies.
Clearly a Romney administration would be taking orders from men who know nothing about women, reproduction, science, or medicine because nothing says modern day Republican like know nothings in charge of the one thing they know the least about.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.