Conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway had sharp advice for Republicans when she spoke at their retreat on January 16. According to Politico:
It’s way past time: House Republicans need to stop talking about rape….
Conway said rape is a “four-letter word,” and Republicans simply need to stop talking about it in their races for office.
This advice obviously came in the wake of GOP Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s rape comment, which not only lost Akin what was foreseen as an easy win, but also played nicely into the Democrat “war on women” meme. GOP Indiana US Senate candidate Richard Mourdock was another casualty for same.
Meanwhile, the pro-life political group Susan B. Anthony List is launching a training program that includes suggestions on how to answer difficult questions. From now on SBA List will only endorse or contribute to pro-life candidates who successfully complete the program.
To that end, conservative S. E. Cupp recently wrote:
Republicans don’t campaign wearing sandwich boards that say, “Ask me about rape.” The media cynically ask these questions to elicit crazy responses. In those two cases [Akin and Mourdock], mission accomplished.
So even when we don’t talk about it, liberals will find a way to get us to discuss abortion. We may as well direct the conversation instead of being dragged into it unprepared….
Half the electorate is pro-life. That means we have to talk about life in compelling, compassionate ways that resonate.
We have to stand up for life without standing against women. And, yes, we have to put up better candidates who make sane, rational pro-life arguments. The solution for conservatives isn’t to talk about it less, it’s to talk about it more – and better.
What do you think? Should pro-life political candidates simply become better at avoiding the rape/incest issue, or should they become better at explaining their position?
I have a poll here but encourage you to draw out your answers in the comments section.