Former presidential candidate
Speaking at the Republican National Committee’s meeting in Washington, the former Arkansas governor and Fox commentator teed off on Democrats who, he said, “think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them
Had he stopped there, his characterization of one facet of
"And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it — let us take that discussion all across America," he said.
Within minutes, as his remarks were replayed on cable and the Web, that was exactly where the conversation seemed headed.
Certainly, the target audience of women who might find his comments offensive is large. According to national health statistics, almost all sexually active women have used one contraceptive method. And 4 in 5 have used birth control pills.
Huckabee’s remark was certain to resurrect the very thing he was inveighing against — the notion fanned by Democrats that
"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said at the time. "But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child." Akin later apologized and said he had used the "wrong words."
Women have been integral to the rise of Democrats in key states and, since 2008, nationally. In 2012, men sided with Republican
National Republicans, in a postelection report issued last spring, named women as one of the most important voter groups for the GOP to attract if it wished to succeed in future national elections.
But the report did not advocate any changes in the GOP positions on issues such as birth control, abortion or same-sex marriage, which have turned off many voters.