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Akin Trips up Smith in Pennsylvania Senate Race Akin Trips up Smith in Pennsylvania Senate Race

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Politics

Akin Trips up Smith in Pennsylvania Senate Race

August 27, 2012
Unlike Akin, Smith is not considered a key piece in the GOP's attempt to regain control of the Senate. A Philadelphia Inquirer poll released Monday showed him trailing Sen. Bob Casey by 19 points. But the incident is another reminder of the difficult questions some pro-life candidates can expect to face in the wake of Akin's comments. After the jump, check out the transcript of Smith's back-and-forth with reporters, courtesy of PoliticsPA:

Robert Vickers, Patriot News: In light of Congressman Akin's comments, is there any situation that you think a woman should have access to an abortion. Tom Smith: My stance is on record and it's very simplistic: I'm pro-life, period. And what that Congressman said, I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that. Vickers: So in cases of incest or rape... Laura Olson, Post-Gazette: No exceptions? Smith: No exceptions. Mark Scolforo, Associated Press: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that? Smith: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn't have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don't get me wrong, it wasn't rape. Scolforo: Similar how? Smith: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock. Scolforo: That's similar to rape? Smith: No, no, no, but... put yourself in a father's situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I'm pro-life, period. [Another question on an unrelated topic] John Micek, Morning Call: Mr. Smith, can I ask you to clarify one more time the question that Mark asked you. Did I just hear you say that having a child out of wedlock is analogous to rape? Smith: No, I did not say that. Scolforo: You did say that. Micek: But you did say it, sir. (Noise as a Smith campaign aide sought to answer, but Scolforo insisted Smith answer). Scolforo: But you did say that. Smith: I said I went through a situation. Scolforo: With your daughter, with a daughter. Smith: Yes. Scolforo: OK. Smith: And it's very, very difficult. But do I condone rape? Absolutely not. Do I propose life? Yes I do. I'm pro-life, period. Scolforo: So what's the similarity between those two, in other words? Just that there's a decision involved? Smith: (Pause.) A life is a life, and it needs protected. Who's going to protect it? We have to. I mean that's, I believe life begins at conception. I'm not going to argue about the method of conception. It's a life, and I'm pro-life. It's that simple.

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