Todd Akin appeared to endorse allowing employers to pay women less than men at a town hall on Thursday.
Gender discrimination in compensation has been illegal in the United States since the passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. But in video provided by Sen. Claire McCaskill's campaign, Akin responded to a question about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- which made it easier for workers to sue over unequal pay -- by suggesting that employers shouldn't even be barred from paying women less in the first place.
Here's a transcript:
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?
AKIN: Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I'm making that particular distinction. I believe in free enterprise. I don't think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don't pay. I think it's about freedom. If someone what’s to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that's fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.
The McCaskill campaign condemned Akin's remarks. Read on...
Yes... freedom! Freedom to take us back a generation or two. I wonder what else he thinks employers should have the "freedom" to do. Child labor? Elimination of the minimum wage? Frankly, I'm afraid to ask in his case because I'm sure I'd get some answers that made me shudder as badly as his statements here or worse.