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Clayton Williams: Victims Of Rape Should "Relax And Enjoy It"

Clayton Williams: Victims of Rape Should "Relax and Enjoy It"
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Ann Richards campaign ad from 1990

Todd Akin's ignorant remarks yesterday recalled another political race where another Republican candidate managed to torpedo his chances. Clayton Williams was leading in the race for Governor of Texas over Democrat Ann Richards by 11 points in the polling in August, outspending her 2-1, and looked to be cruising to an easy win. He lost, narrowly, by 2%.

Williams is still around, raising $300,000 for John McCain in 2008. McCain later cancelled a fundraiser and returned the money though, as Williams's name is now political poison.

via The New York Times/AP

The Republican gubernatorial nominee apologized today for an off-the-cuff remark suggesting that some victims of rape should ''relax and enjoy it.''

The candidate, Clayton Williams, had initially played down the remark as being a joke.

Women's groups and political opponents of Mr. Williams strongly criticized the candidate for the comment.

It ''questions his ability to understand the kinds of problems faced by the people of Texas,'' said Ann Richards, the State Treasurer and a runoff candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. ''Rape is a crime of violence.''

Mr. Williams made the remark on Saturday while preparing for a cattle roundup at his West Texas ranch. He compared the cold, foggy weather spoiling the event to a rape, telling ranch hands, campaign workers and reporters around a campfire, ''If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.''

Mr. Williams Apologizes

Later on Saturday, Mr. Williams said it was merely a joke and apologized ''if anyone's offended.''

''That's not a Republican women's club that we were having this morning,'' he said. ''It's a working cow camp, a tough world where you can get kicked in the testicles if you're not careful.''

Asked if some people might be offended, Mr. Williams said: ''I'm not going to give you a serious answer. It wasn't a serious deal. It wasn't a serious statement.''

But today his campaign issued a statement in which Mr. Williams said: ''I feel just terrible about this. I had no intention in my heart to hurt anyone, especially those women who have been traumatized by rape.

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