Congressman Jeff Flake posted on his Facebook page on Thursday that during his campaign trail travels all over the state -- to places such as Superior, Miami, Globe, Payson, Show Low, Prescott, Flagstaff, Williams, Lake Havasu, Sierra Vista, Tucson, Kingman -- he had a revelation.
"What I've found is that people don't want to talk about Todd Akin or the wedge issues," he posts on his FB page. "They're concerned about what will happen to their jobs if new EPA regulations close down the power plant in their area. They want to know why the U.S. Senate won't approve a land exchange that will allow a copper mine to expand and save their town. They wonder when the Forest Service will move ahead with stewardship contracts ...that may spare their homes from the next catastrophic fire."
While these are also important issues, Akin's comments still are smoldering -- and given they are part of the Republican's current platform, they are worth talking about.
But you have to wonder... What's Flake's motive in saying voters aren't really concerned about Akin's comments? Maybe to downplay questionable language in legislation he co-sponsored?
After all, it was Flake who signed on as co-sponsor for an anti-abortion bill with the language "forcible rape."
We've got a call into Flake's campaign for comment. We'll update this post if we hear back from him.
Arizona Congressmen Trent Franks and Paul Gosar also co-sponsored the legislation.
Let's back up: We all know by now about Congressman Todd Akin and the biologically backward comments he uttered regarding "legitimate rape" and the notion that women who are raped -- legitimately raped, that is -- aren't likely to get pregnant because their bodies somehow know they're dealing with hostile sperm and will fend it off.
Well, Flake publicly weighed in via twitter -- obviously ignoring his own support of a bill that qualified the rape of a woman.
"I oppose abortion, but exceptions must be made for rape, incest and to protect life of the mother. Cong. Akin's comment was wrong," the Senate hopeful wrote on August 19.
So what's the difference between "legitimate" rape and "forcible" rape?
Both simply -- and obscenely -- suggest that rape isn't always rape. That is, when a woman says she was raped, there should be an immediate assumption that she is lying. That we should question the legitimacy of her claim.
H.R. 3, an anti-abortion measure intended to prohibit the use of tax dollars to fund abortions, was introduced in January 2011. It allowed exceptions for abortions if "the pregnancy is the result of forcible rape or, if the pregnant woman is a minor, incest."
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Later versions of the bill dropped the word "forcible."
Flake is facing off against Wil Cardon, a wealthy businessman, in the August 28 primary. And politicos expect that Flake, the favorite among Republicans, will emerge as the victor in that race.
If he wins Tuesday's election, Flake will go up against Democrat Richard Carmona, a formidable opponent with a rich history of experience as former U.S. Surgeon General appointed by a Republican president, a lawman, and a decorated Army veteran.