David Frum

01.11.13

The GOP Still Hasn't Learned from 2012

House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) (C) listens to testimony from U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of American forces in Iraq, on Capitol Hill April 9, 2008 in Washington, DC. Petraeus told Congress that he does not recommend lowering the number of U.S. troops in Iraq below 140,000 before mid-September. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) ()

Remember what happened to Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in their campaigns for Senate? Whether or not you agree with their stances on abortion, their remarks about rape and pregnancy most likely cost them many votes in states they should have won. Apparently Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) never got that memo. As Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times reports, Rep. Gingrey (an OB-GYN, mind you) reignited the issue during a discussion at the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce in suburban Atlanta.

Mr. Akin, [Rep. Gingrey] said, “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.”

If the GOP is to ever attract more women and centrists (such as myself), they must stop with these senseless comments. Otherwise, what happened to the GOP in 2012 will likely be repeated in 2016 and beyond.