Washington: Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had met a doctor who is said to be behind controversial lawmaker Todd Akin's extreme views on rape and abortion, during the current election campaign, it has emerged.
Dr Jack Willke, a prominent anti-abortion campaigner, claimed to be an authority on the theory espoused by Akin that victims of what the Republican congressman called “legitimate rape” do not become pregnant because their bodies “shut down” due to the trauma.
Dr Willke has been given no role in Romney’s 2012 campaign and aides stress that the candidate disagrees with his theory on rape.
Dr Willke claimed that he met Romney during a presidential primary campaign stop in the doctor's home city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in October last year, The Telegraph reports.
“He told me ‘thank you for your support, we agree on almost everything, and if I am elected President, I will make some major pro-life pronouncements’,” the paper quoted Dr Willke, as saying.
“I thanked him, and said I knew where he was – that he was 99 percent of what we wanted. I told him I would help in any way I could,” he added.
Dr Willke wrote an open letter on Tuesday declaring that “the pro-life movement and I unequivocally stand with Representative Akin” despite Romney and several other party heavyweights saying that he must step aside.
“The guy is clean. He made one mistake by using the wrong word and the volcano erupted. The powers that be in the Republican party threw this guy overboard,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
First Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 13:41