In an interview with a St. Louis TV station in August, Akin was asked whether he favored allowing abortions in the case of rape. His response: “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” In other words: Rape victims can secrete magical juices to prevent themselves from getting pregnant. Nearly the entire Republican establishment subsequently washed its hands of Akin’s campaign, with many GOP leaders urging him to drop out of the Missouri Senate race.
Above: Akin addresses members of the media in Chesterfield, Mo., on Aug. 24.
During a debate Monday against his Democratic opponent for California’s 1st Congressional District seat, La Malfa said that women who have abortions increase their risk of cancer. After a TV station questioned his assertion, he issued a release the following day acknowledging that he was misinformed. This gaffe is more forgivable than Akin’s because researchers in the past have suggested a link between breast cancer and abortion -- they just haven’t proved it. Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute say there’s no scientific evidence of a connection.
Above: La Malfa, left, says goodbye to fellow GOP Sen. Mark Wyland of Solana Beach after the Senate adjourned, ending the Legislative session on Sept. 1.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Contributing to an unscientific and potentially dangerous hysteria about the vaccine against the human papillomavirus, Bachmann recounted on NBC’s “Today” show last year that she had met a Florida woman who told her that her daughter had suffered mental retardation after receiving the vaccine. “There is no second chance for these little girls if there is any dangerous consequences to their bodies,” she said. Her comments were met with widespread condemnation from the medical community, which pointed out that there was no documented case of a mental disorder stemming from the vaccine. Despite withering criticism that her comments would discourage parents from immunizing their daughters against a virus that can lead to cervical cancer, the then-GOP presidential hopeful refused to apologize and reiterated her view that parents should be cautious.
Above: Bachmann on Aug. 26 addresses the Tea Party Unity Rally in the River Church of Tampa, Fla.
(Glen Stubbe / Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT)
In October, when Romney was still fighting for the GOP presidential nomination, he was unequivocal about climate change: “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.” Now that he’s seeking to appeal to the broader electorate, he has dialed that back a little; in a statement this month posted on the website Sciencedebate.org, he acknowledged that human activity is contributing to global warming but maintained that “there remains a lack of scientific consensus on the issue,” so further research is needed. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that the planet is warming and that human activity is the cause.
Above: Romney addresses the Republican National Convention on Aug. 30 in Tampa, Fla.
During a conference call held after he sewed up the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate race in Indiana, Mourdock made his views on global warming crystal clear: “We are basing our energy policy on the greatest hoax of all time, which is that mankind is changing the climate.” That’s quite a hoax, given that it has apparently been joined by all the top climate scientists at the world’s major research centers and universities. The fact that these hoaxsters have managed to get the planet to cooperate by setting record temperatures around the world and melting off ice caps only shows how deep it goes.
Above: Mourdock applauds as he listens to Mitt Romney speak during a campaign event at Stepto’s Bar B Q Shack on Aug. 4 in Evansville, Ind.
In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan in October, the pizza magnate said he personally believed homosexuality was a sin. That’s OK as it goes; a lot of the GOP base agrees with him. But he went on to say, “And although people don’t agree with me, I happen to believe that it’s a choice.” Actually, many people in the aforementioned religious-right base do agree with Cain, but psychologists do not. The American Psychological Assn. has found no consensus about what causes same-sex attraction but concludes that “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
Above: Cain in a Bloomberg Television interview during the RNC on Aug. 29 in Tampa, Fla.