The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

House GOP told to stop talking about rape

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — With their brand battered and poll numbers hovering near rock bottom, House Republicans are cloistering behind closed doors at a tony golf resort here this week to strategize how to resurrect their image while preparing to renew a contentious fight with President Obama over spending.

“Rape is a four letter word — don’t say it,” the group was advised by a Republican pollster in one session, said a person familiar with the discussion. That was a reference to controversies about rape and abortion that helped lose the party two Senate seats in November.