Democrats try tying vulnerable Republicans to Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ comments


Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.). (Jeff Roberson/AP)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to start phoning voters in 20 congressional districts Monday, in hopes of tying Republican lawmakers facing challenging reelection campaigns closer to Akin’s comments that suggested women would not become pregnant if they were raped. The comments have sunk his chances of defeating Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), as a poll released over the weekend shows Akin trailing her by nine points.

Among the targeted Republicans is Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who faces Democrat Rob Zerban in November, but is still leading in polls in his southeastern Wisconsin district.

The calls are intended to remind voters that the Republican Party platform includes language opposed to abortion and that doesn’t endorse abortion exceptions for women who are impregnated by rape or incest or if their health is at risk.

Here is a sample script of the call targeting Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), as provided by the DCCC. Similar calls will criticize the 19 other Republican lawmakers:

“Hello. This is Julie calling from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard Congressman Todd Akin’s unbelievable comments about rape and his outrageous beliefs about women’s rights.

You know what’s even more worrisome? He’s not alone.

Republicans like your Congressman Mike Coffman share some of these radical, right-wing beliefs — that the government should take away a woman’s access to making informed decisions about her own pregnancy.

It’s outrageous. This week, Congressman Coffman’s Republican Party platform will include a plank that says no to a woman’s right to choose without any exceptions even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk.

If you’re tired of this right-wing social agenda from Congressman Todd Akin and Congressman Coffman then call him now.

In response to the new round of calls, Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman with the National Republican Congressional Committee, said “It's obvious that Democrats want to do anything they can to avoid talking about the issues Americans are concerned about, like creating jobs and turning around our economy. House Republicans will remain focused on solutions to those problems, not this kind of partisan sniping.”

The DCCC plans to target the following GOP lawmakers:

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.)

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.)

Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.)

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)

Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.)

Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.)

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.)

Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.)

Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.)

Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.)

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)

Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.)

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.)

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Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Read more at PostPolitics and track our coverage of the Republican National Convention

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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