ZOMG Steve King. http://t.co/H3oHnIpG
— Tabitha Hale (@TabithaHale) August 21, 2012
In an interview yesterday, Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa was asked for his thoughts on the Todd Akin fiasco. King avoided commenting specifically on Akin’s remarks and chose instead to focus on Akin’s moral character, calling him a “strong Christian man, with a wonderful family.”
Even in the face of mounting pressure from Republicans for Akin to withdraw from his senate race, King probably wouldn’t have faced too heavy of a backlash from his party for commenting only on Akin’s character. But King didn’t stop there. He went on to produce an extremely cringe-worthy nugget of his own:
King supports the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” It would ban Federal funding of abortions except in cases of forcible rape. Right now, Medicaid also covers abortions for victims of statutory rape or incest – for example, a 12 year old who gets pregnant.
Congressman King says he’s not aware of any young victims like that.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter,” he said.
For the record, it’s important to note that the term “forcible rape” was removed from the bill, and the language makes clear that rape is rape; one kind is no less criminal than another (more on that here). But still. Yikes. Really, Rep. King? Really??? Not only is that statement absolutely ludicrous, but it’s dangerous. As if the GOP didn’t already have to contend with ridiculous charges from the Left that all Republicans are woman-hating rape apologists, King has just made their job more difficult.
Flabbergasted liberals had a field day:
And it continues: Rep. Steve King: I’ve never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest http://t.co/lHIqS1AM
— Jessica Hullinger (@JessHullinger) August 21, 2012
Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest http://t.co/42ftFMR7
— Vickie (@Vickie627) August 21, 2012
— T. (@wlfpack81) August 21, 2012
Based on Steve King's interview, i'm guessing the NRCC and RNC just ran out of duct tape.
— Jason Boxt (@jboxt1) August 21, 2012
The three-ring crazy circus continues. Rep. King: I've never heard of pregnancy from statutory rape or incest http://t.co/ANjbmIVP
— Matt Martin (@voxmatt) August 21, 2012
Please, keep talking, Rep. Steve King.
— ¡ viva Terry ! (@shortstack81) August 21, 2012
This is a NEW kind of stupid. RT @TPM: Rep. Steve King (R-IA): I've never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape
— The Full Ginsburg (@TheFullGinsburg) August 21, 2012
Dear national GOP: when are you going to ask Steve King to resign from his seat in Congress? http://t.co/VPM2mY49
— Jeremy Stahl (@JeremyStahl) August 21, 2012
.@dccc What cocoon is Steve King living in? Even if he watched the dumbest stuff on boob tube he would know! What is his DENIAL?
— Kleyton Cooper (@kleytoncooper) August 21, 2012
I guess Steve King isn't a big Law & Order: SVU fan.
— Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) August 21, 2012
When did The Onion start running GOP messaging? Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest
— Richard Keil (@RDKeil1) August 21, 2012
Needless to say, King’s foot-in-mouthage left conservatives banging their heads against the wall:
@joesegal I'm a pro-life Republican. That doesn't mean Steve King didn't say something extremely stupid that deserves all kinds of ridicule.
— Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) August 21, 2012
What the hell Steve King?
— Joe Brooks (@joebrooks) August 21, 2012
@JeromeEHudson Yeah, but dude. Steve King. Tell me you didn't read that and immediate slap your face.
— Torrey M. Spears (@torreymspears) August 21, 2012
Rep. Steve King, please do not go in front of another mic for 70 days.
— Brad Cundiff (@bradcundiff) August 21, 2012
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 21, 2012
Yes, I realize Steve King is saying that he's never *personally* seen rape/incest result in pregnancy. Who cares? USE WORDS CAREFULLY.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 21, 2012
"Oh dammit… there's an unsent memo here reminding us we WANT to win the Senate this year… anyone see this?!" – GOP
— el Sooper (@SooperMexican) August 21, 2012
Seriously. No more. Please.
— BiasedGirl (@BiasedGirl) August 21, 2012
In response to the claims of him not believing that pregnancy can occur following statutory rape or incest, Rep. King is asserting that his remarks were taken out of context. Upon further review, we agree. It appears that King was merely stating that he had never dealt personally with a 12-year-old rape victim and not that he did not believe pregnancy was possible for a girl in that situation.
After Talking Points Memo reported the statements, King’s campaign fired back, telling the website that “of course” he was aware that girls have become pregnant from statutory rape and incest and supported people who had not been forcibly raped having access to federal abortion coverage under a rape exemption.
“What he was saying was he personally does not know a girl who was raped,” King spokeswoman Brittany Lesser said. “He never says, ‘I’ve never heard of that.’ There’s a fine line between ‘I’ve never heard of that’ and ‘I don’t know personally anybody who’s been raped.’ There’s a difference. There is a difference.”
In light of the Akin controversy, it can be tempting to pounce on potentially questionable comments in order to defend conservatives from further smears by the Left. But that is no excuse for getting swept up in a media frenzy without a solid understanding of all the facts. In passing judgment about Rep. King prematurely, we played into the hands of the leftist media we pride ourselves on exposing. To Rep. King, we sincerely apologize for putting forth misleading information and for any resulting negative speculation as to your personal character.