Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has officially withdrawn his support of Wisconsin Representative Roger Rivard in the wake of the Journal Sentinel’s recent report bringing to light comments Rivard made last December in the Chetek Alert stating “some girls, they rape so easy,” implying that some women consent to sexual intercourse only to change their minds later and claim they were raped.
Ryan’s congressional campaign manager, Kevin Seifert said in a statement: “State Representative Rivard’s comments are outrageous and offensive… 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.”
Ryan was quick to withdraw his approval of Representative Rivard, denouncing the freshmen candidate only hours after the Journal Sentinel reported on his comments Wednesday. This is now the second time that Ryan has had to publicly condemn insensitive remarks made by a fellow Republican. Just this past August, Ryan backed away from Todd Akin after the Missouri Representative stated that women’s bodies had a way of “shutting down” potential pregnancies after being “legitimately raped.”
Ryan’s criticism of Rivard was quickly followed by fellow Republicans: Governor Scott Walker, Senator Ron Johnson, Senate candidate Tommy Thompson and Representative Sean Duffy all dropped their support of Rivard on Thursday and released disapproving statements of their own. Representative Duffy went so far as to announce he is donating money received from Rivard to a shelter for victims of sexual abuse.
It will be interesting to see if Ryan’s withdrawal of support for Rivard will come up during tonight’s Vice Presidential debate as many Democrats are now requesting their Republican counterparts take their criticisms a step further and pressure Rivard to drop out of the race. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seemed to back away from this in his own statement: “State Representative Rivard’s comments were offensive and disrespectful to victims of rape… The voters of the 75th Assembly District will determine whether he has fully accounted for these indefensible comments,” essentially leaving it up to voters to decide Rivard’s fate.
What do you think? Should Republicans take their anger a step further and demand Rivard drop out of the race? Many Democrats are using his comments to highlight their opposition to the GOP’s views on women. Do you think Rivard’s comments are open to debate for Vice President Biden tonight?