U.S. Senate candidate Mike Baumgartner thinks too much attention is being paid to comments by another Republican candidate running for another Senate seat in another state.
As noted yesterday, Baumgartner, who is running against U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, called the comments of Todd Akin ignorant and inexcusable. This was after Akin, who is running against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, defended his stance against abortion for cases of rape by telling a St. Louis radio station that women rarely get pregnant from a "legitimate rape" because their bodies have a means to "shut down the whole thing."
His campaign even put out a press release detailing his views on why Akin's comments were insensitive, and suggested it was time to stop focusing on the culture wars and get back to substantive issues like the economy and fiscal problems.
Publicola, a Seattle-area political and public affairs blog, followed up and asked for further details on how Baumgartner's views differed from Akin's views, because they both oppose abortion for cases of rape and incest. The Spokane state senator provided them more details, but again said his campaign is not based around culture wars, and that's not why he's running against Cantwell. He's running on issues about the economy and ending the war in Afghanistan.
Later in the evening, Baumgartner -- apparently unhappy with the follow up -- sent the writer Josh Feit a picture of picture of a friend who recently died in Afghanistan. He suggested Feit "take a good look, and then go (bleep) yourself." (This word is used freely by today's teenagers as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an interjection and even a conjunction, but this blog is still run by a family newspaper, so we don't print it.)
This afternoon, Baumgartner's campaign released a statement in which he said he thought the e-mail to Feit was personal, but nonetheless apologized "for my strong language." He reiterated criticism that the news media aren't talking about ways to end the war or Cantwell's support of it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baumgartner response to Publicola e-mail
August 21, 2012, Bellevue, Wash. – Senator Michael Baumgartner made this statement today regarding Publicola’s article that published a private e-mail between him and Publicola editor, Josh Feit:
“This was a follow-up e-mail to a previous conversation with a local blogger,” Baumgartner said. "I apologize to Josh for my strong language."
“A cornerstone of my campaign thus far has been to address and end the war in Afghanistan. Every week, our best American men and women are killed. Since I announced my candidacy in October, 301 Americans have been killed.”
“The problem is that many media outlets, including Publicola, do not want to talk about why these men and women continue to be killed. They don’t want to discuss Maria Cantwell's record supporting the war in Afghanistan or a smarter foreign policy that can save thousands of lives in the future.”