A Wisconsin state lawmaker endorsed by Paul Ryan has come under criticism for suggesting that “some girls rape easy.” While discussing a case in which “a 17-year-old high school senior was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the school’s band room,” State Rep. Roger Rivard (R) told the Chetek Alert newspaper in December that his father taught him that some girls will portray a sexual encounter as rape if they become pregnant. He is now claiming that those remarks were taken out of context and has issued a statement condemning sexual violence:
On Wednesday, Rivard told the Journal Sentinel the article did not provide full context of his comments and that his father’s exact words had been slightly different from how they appeared in the Chetek Alert.
He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.
“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ ” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’
“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’
“So it’s been kind of taken out of context.”
Ryan endorsed Rivard on August 9, just two days before he was selected to be Mitt Romney’s running mate. “Roger needs to be reaffirmed to get this job done and fix the State of Wisconsin,” Ryan said.
Ryan withdrew his endorsement on Thursday. “State Representative Rivard’s comments are outrageous and offensive,” Kevin Siefert said in a statement. “Congressman Ryan believes there is no place in our discourse for rhetoric such as this. Congressman Ryan cannot support Mr. Rivard or his indefensible comments.”
1. Romney and Ryan would eliminate health care for 31 million people who are poor or disabled. Medicaid, which helps poor Americans, some seniors, and children afford health care, is right in the crosshairs of Paul Ryan’s House budget. He proposed cutting $1.4 trillion from the program, a move that would kick about 11 million people off Medicaid over the course of ten years. The Romney-Ryan plan is even worse, and is estimated to force about 44 million people off the program.
2. Ryan considers Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme.” In the Fall of 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme,” and Paul Ryan agreed. Ryan wants to privatize the program.
3. 62% of Ryan’s budget cuts come from programs that benefit low-income Americans. Ryan’s budget proposes “$5.3 trillion in nondefense budget cuts.” 62 percent of the reductions would come from programs that specifically help low-income Americans:
4. Ryan voted for future defense cuts he now blames on Obama. Though Ryan claims Obama somehow orchestrated the sequester, a series of across-the-board spending cuts triggered if Congress can’t produce a better plan, the VP pick himself was a supporter of the mechanism. Not only did he vote for legislation to establish it, he peddled the plan to his Republican colleagues and proposed a similar initiative in 2004.
5. Ryan and Romney cannot cut taxes across the board by 20% and lower the deficit because it’s mathematically impossible. Ryan claims they will achieve these twin goals by closing loopholes and getting rid of deductions for the rich. But, as the Tax Policy Center points out, even if they got rid of every single deduction and loophole, they would still need to find more revenue. That means they’d need to start raising taxes on the middle class.
6. Ryan voted to increase the debt ceiling by $4 trillion under Bush. During the Bush years alone, Ryan voted with his party’s leadership to increase the debt ceiling by $4 trillion. In total, he has voted six times to raise the debt ceiling, increasing it by $5.8 trillion.
7. Ryan wants to kick 1 million students off of Pell Grants. As part of his budget, Ryan proposed cutting Pell Grants for nearly 1 million college students. Seventy four percent of Pell Grant recipients in 2011 came from families with incomes of $30,000 or less. There is no evidence that these cuts will curb rising college costs.
8. Ryan’s budget included the same $716 billion in Medicare savings included in Obamacare. The $716 billion that Obamacare takes out of Medicare will almost definitely come up in tomorrow’s debate. Ryan has claimed that Obama “raided” Medicare to pay for his health care reform. In fact, Ryan wants to make Medicare a voucher program and proposed taking the same cuts out of Medicare in his budget. But whereas Obamacare uses those funds to eliminate fraud and increase efficiency, Ryan proposed taking that money to pay down the deficit.
9. Ryan supported economic stimulus under Bush. If he’s going to follow the lead of his running mate, Ryan will invoke Obama’s stimulus plan, the Recovery Act, as failed legislation that wasted taxpayer money. But when George Bush was president, Ryan was supportive of a stimulus, and actually made a rousing case for infusing the economy with money, saying that it helped create jobs. Watch it:
10. Ryan used to supports a key aspect of Obamacare. Ryan will likely say at the debate that the Affordable Care Act is government overreach. In fact, he might even invoke “death panels,” as he has done at recent town halls. But Ryan proposed something extremely similar to these so-called “death panels” in 2009 — twice. In December of 2010, Ryan also asked the Department of Health and Human Services for an Obamacare health care grant “for the Kenosha Community Health Center, Inc to develop a new facility in Racine, Wisconsin, an area within Ryan’s district.”
11. Ryan opposes abortion access for rape victims. When it comes to abortion rights, Ryan is among the most extreme anti-abortion members of Congress. He believes rape victims shouldn’t have access to abortions and co-sponsored a “personhood” amendment that would have defined a fertilized egg as a human, thus outlawing not just abortion but also in-vitro fertilization and some forms of contraception.
Mitt Romney seemed to embrace a proposal that includes a national mandate to purchase health care insurance, during an interview with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register on Tuesday, criticizing President Obama for failing to accept a reform plan offered by former Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).
That plan, which shares some similarities with the Affordable Care Act, established state-based purchasing pools and required almost everyone “to enroll in a private insurance plan.” Individuals and families would also receive premium subsidies “on a sliding scale based on income to help make the coverage provided through the new purchasing pools affordable for low- and moderate-income families.”
Romney offered the proposal as a positive example of bipartisan cooperation in Washington. “Senator Bennett of Utah along with Senator Wyden Democrat of Oregon, put together a proposal, bipartisan proposal,” he said. “[Obama] [b]rushed [it] aside. Not a single Republican signed on”:
Throughout the presidential campaign, Romney has repeatedly insisted that states should decide whether individuals can be required to purchase coverage. But he has previously embraced a national mandate — and Wyden/Bennett specifically. During an appearance on Meet The Press in June of 2009, the former governor described the proposal as a Republican plan. “We have a health care plan,” Romney said. “You look at Wyden-Bennett. That’s a health care plan that a number of Republicans think is a very good health care plan — one that we support. Take a look at that one.”
The “Healthy Americans Act” would also “replace the current tax exclusion for employer-based health insurance premiums with a fixed income tax deduction for health insurance.” Employes would have to contribute to their employees’ health care plans, while companies who had been offering coverage, but stopped, would “increase workers’ wages by the average contribution that the employers would have made for their health plan.”
Joe Walsh Attacks Opponent For Picking Out A Dress |
Republican Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) attacked his Democratic challenger, Tammy Duckworth, with a photograph of Duckworth picking out a dress before her speech at the Democratic National Convention during a debate between the two on Tuesday. Despite intense booing from the audience, Walsh carried on with his attack, saying, “the only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she’ll be wearing for her big speech.” Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran, acknowledged that she picks out her own clothes, but added, “for most of my adult life, I’ve worn one color — it’s called camouflage.” This is not Walsh’s first outlandish attack on his opponent. He said Duckworth — who lost both her legs in the Iraq war — was using her experience as a “political ploy.”
New Mexico Attorney General To Investigate Voter Suppression |
New Mexico Attorney General Gary K. King (D) announced Tuesday that he will launch an investigation into efforts by a local Republican party committee to train “poll challengers” to suppress the vote. The non-profit ProgressNow New Mexico caught Pat Morlen, vice chair of the Sandoval County Republican Party, making several claims that directly contradict New Mexico law and instructing volunteer “poll challengers” to demand photo ID and force legal voters to use provisional ballots. “I will not tolerate voter suppression efforts by anyone, period,” King said in a statement, adding, “we have received a number of complaints since last Friday that there seems to be a concerted effort afoot to discourage some New Mexicans from exercising their right to vote this November. My office is committed to helping ensure fair elections by working to put an immediate stop to such misinformation and publicly correcting what has already been disseminated.”
In a last ditch effort to win over undecided moderates, Mitt Romney is finally fulfilling his adviser’s prediction that he would become the “Etch-a-Sketch” candidate. During the first presidential debate, Romney started reversing positions he espoused all year while he was trying to placate the Republican base. Since the debate, he’s continued to shed his hard-line stances that alienated moderates.
Here are 5 examples of the new moderate Romney:
1. “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.” In an interview with the Des Moines Register on Tuesday, Romney backed away from the promises listed on his own website to appoint Supreme Court judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade and end all federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In June 2011, he also specified his support for a “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” an abortion ban based on junk science. More generally, Romney said he would be “delighted” to sign a bill banning all abortions during his first presidential run.
2. “We want to reduce the burden on middle-income taxpayers, and we’re not going to provide a tax break to high-income taxpayers.” In the same interview, Romney disavowed his own tax plan, which would give high-income taxpayers a litany of tax breaks, including an across the board 20 percent tax cut and the elimination of the estate tax. During the Republican primary, Romney admitted that his plan gives tax breaks to high income tax payers, promising he was “going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent.” In order to pay for these tax cuts on the wealthy, Romney would have to raise taxes on middle class families by more than $2,000.
3. “Pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” Romney misrepresented his health care plan during the debate. In fact, only people who were continuously insured are protected from discrimination. Millions of Americans who have been denied insurance for their pre-existing conditions would be left to their own devices under Romney’s plan.
4. “You have to have regulation. And there are some parts of Dodd-Frank that make all the sense in the world.” Also during the debate, Romney suddenly embraced the bank reform law he previously said he would repeal entirely.
5. “The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid.” Considered the most hard-line immigration candidate in a field of extreme Republican candidates, Romney said he would allow the young undocumented immigrants to keep their special work permits issued by President Obama, though he plans to end the directive if president.
Romney surrogates have admitted that Romney is changing his positions for political gain. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) explained that “strong conservatives would understand” that Romney needs to lean center to cull moderate votes.