|Pennsylvania Senatorial candidate Tom Smith is the latest Republican to make an unfortunate comment on rape, hot on the heels of now notorious Missouri Representative Todd Akin.|
At a press conference on Monday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Mr Smith, a former coal mining magnate turned political hopeful, that while he did not agree with Mr Akin, he did have a zero-tolerance policy toward abortion, even in cases of rape.
He then referred to his own 'experience' of his daughter's choice to have a child out of wedlock, from consensual sex, saying 'It is similar... I’m pro-life, period.'
Gaffe: Pennsylvania Senatorial candidate Tom Smith, left, is the latest Republican to make an unfortunate comment on rape, hot on the heels of now notorious Missouri Representative Todd Akin
His representatives have declared that the reports have taken his comments out of context, though transcripts of the event leave little to interpretation.
Mr Smith is running on the Republican ticket to outset freshman Democratic Senator Bob Casey in November.
Appearing at a luncheon at the Pennsylvania Press Club, he spoke to reporters about Todd Akin's comments on rape.
'What that congressman said I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that,' he said, according to PoliticsPA.
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He went on to declare he was 'pro-life, period.'
Reporters followed up by asking how he might approach a daughter or a granddaughter who was the victim of rape and became pregnant.
'I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that,' he said.
'She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.'
Spoken: At a press conference on Monday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Mr Smith, a former coal mining magnate turned political hopeful, that while he did not agree with Mr Akin, he did have a zero-tolerance policy toward abortion, even in cases of rape
Reporters zeroed in on his comparison and asked him how it was similar to rape.
'Uh, having a baby out of wedlock,' he said.
'That’s similar to rape?' a reporter asked.
'No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period,' he said.
'I’m not going to argue about the method of conception.'
His campaign has issued a rebuttal to the coverage of his comments, saying that his statements were 'less than artful.'
'Tom Smith is committed to protecting the sanctity of life and believes it begins at conception,' they said.
'While his answers to some of the questions he faced at the Pennsylvania Press club may have been less than artful, at no time did he draw the comparison that some have inferred. When questioned if he was drawing that comparison, Tom’s answer was clear, ‘no, no, no.’'
Mr Smith's prospects for wining the race were already slim, a Philadelphia Inquirer poll out Monday had incumbent Bob Casey up 19 points, meaning these latest comments may finish the race.