WASHINGTON, D.C. — The day before the Vice Presidential debate, Democrats are hoping to revive debate over Rep. Paul Ryan’s views on abortion, linking him to controversial Missouri Rep. Todd Akin in a new web video released Wednesday.
Titled “Paul Ryan’s Legitimate Problem,” the video was produced by the Democratic leaning American Bridge Super PAC, and includes news footage of Akin’s controversial “legitimate rape” statement.
The video also highlights Akin’s longstanding legislative ties with Ryan. The two cosponsored abortion legislation that, among other things, would have modified the definition of rape in abortion laws to “forcible rape.”
Ryan has insisted the change has no substantive meaning: Democrats, however, have characterized the legislation as an effort to further restrict access to emergency contraception services for rape victims.
Meanwhile, Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign released a series of new ads hammering Akin over his opposition to emergency contraception for rape victims.
The powerful ads feature three victims of sexual assault discussing their cases and criticizing Akin’s position on rape, and are scheduled to run as part of a statewide television ad buy, according to McCaskill's campaign. The campaign also released an extended, web-only version of one of the ads.
McCaskill’s ads are the first in what Republicans expect to be a wave of attacks highlighting Akin’s position on rape and abortion, and are a prime example of why national Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney have written his campaign off.
UPDATE: Ryan's camp is dismissing the American Bridge ad as an attempt to distract the public.
"Democrats are so desperate they will do anything to change the subject from the President's disastrous debate. These types of scare tactics won't help the millions of women struggling in the Obama economy," Ryan spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in an email.
John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
Contact John Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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