The Obama campaign will later today send out a mass e-mail to supporters from abortion rights activist Sandra Fluke criticizing the comments of embattled Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and trying to tie them to the GOP presidential platform, ABC News has learned.
The email will be just the latest attempt by the Obama campaign to link the presumptive Republican presidential ticket to Akin, whose widely condemned (and scientifically false) remarks about rape have been disputed by both Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., in addition to almost every national Republican official with a pulse.
Fluke will also be announced as a speaker at the Democratic National Convention. Her email today will note that the Republican National Convention adopted a platform plank today that opposed abortion, with no exceptions mentioned. The Obama campaign has been calling this plank “the Akin Amendment” since Akin’s controversial comments from Sunday were made in an attempt to explain his opposition to abortion in all circumstances, even for women who were raped
“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said Sunday, about pregnancies resulting from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Akin has since apologized for his comment, but that has done nothing to quell the criticism from Republican officials who fear that his comments have permanently undermined his opportunity to defeat vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
The Obama campaign has also noted that Akin and Ryan were two (of 227) co-sponsors of legislation that last year attempted to differentiate between “forcible” rape and other kinds, presumably statutory rape. Under fire for parsing types of rape, House Republicans changed the legislation.
“Rape is rape,” President Obama said Monday, seizing the opportunity of a media focus on Akin’s remarks to inject himself into the debate. “The idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”
Left unsaid was the fact that the president wasn’t only referring to Akin and “legitimate” rape but also Ryan and “forcible” rape.
With women voters up for grabs in this election, President Obama and the Democratic party machine have seized about the Akin remarks in an attempt to draw distinctions between the president and Romney on social issues and to attempt to paint the GOP ticket as extremist.
Fluke first gained national attention after conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh attacked her for testimony she gave about contraception.