President Barack Obama seized on a Missouri Republican's bizarre comments on rape to press Republicans on the question of abortion Monday in a surprise appearance at a White House press briefing.
Obama acknowledged that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don't share Rep. Todd Akin's view that women are unlikely to get pregnant from "legitimate rape" — comments Akin has since retracted. That view, he said, is "way out there."
But, Obama continued, "those are broader issues and that is a signifcant difference in approach."
He said Akin's remark illustrated why abortion shouldn't be banned.
"We shouldnt' have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women," he said.
"Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing, qualifying, and slicing what types of rape ... doesn't make sense," Obama also said.
Obama, who hasn't taken questions from the White House press for weeks, also said he doesn't believe Mitt Romney was responsible for a woman's death, as a group allied with his campaign suggested, but also complained that Romney had aired more misleading ads.
Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
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