5:40 pm Aug. 21, 2012
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand suggested today that when Todd Akin made his controversial comments about "legitimate rape," he was articulating the views of a number of House Republicans.
"Congressman Akin has basically told the American people what he stood for all along," Gillibrand said, after an event in Queens urging a higher federal minimum wage. "And this has been an issue that has been debated in the House of Representatives since the beginning of this Congress.
"The third bill introduced, H.R.3, defined 'forcible rape,' that some rapes are apparently forcible and some rapes apparently don't count. That's outrageous, it's unacceptable and it's defining an agenda that's not only anti-women, but it's anti-basic rights for women, basic human rights for women."
That bill, introduced shortly after Republicans took control of Congress, garnered 227 co-sponsors, and passed the House in May of 2011 with 251 votes. Gillibrand has often pointed to the bill as an example of the Republican "war on women," and today she connected it to Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan.
"I think this is a defining moment for the election, not only for Todd Akin but also for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan--Paul Ryan who is also on H.R.3 as a co-sponsor," she said. "This is what many Republicans have been advocating for for a long time and now voters are aware of it and that will make the difference."
Despite pressure from his party, Akin said today he'll remain in the race against Democratic senator Claire McCaskill.