Gingrey: Defense of rape comment ‘stupid’

As he moves ahead with a likely Senate campaign, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) is walking back some past comments on rape and assault weapons.

In January, the congressman defended Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), saying the lawmaker was "partially right" in saying a woman could not become pregnant after a "legitimate rape." 

On Monday, the pro-life obstetrician called the comments "stupid."

“I made a very awkward attempt to explain the unexplainable,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Rape is rape. If it’s rape, it’s legitimate. I certainly regret very much weighing in on that issue."

At the same breakfast event where he made those remarks, Gingrey expressed his openness to limits on high-capacity gun magazines and expanded background checks in response to the shootings in Newtown, Conn. He now regrets those comments, as well, saying it "clearly would be a mistake" to impose such regulations.

Sources say Gingrey intends to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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