The Last Word | December 07, 2012
>>> i understand from doctors, that's really rare. if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
>> in november, missouri voters shut todd akins' whole thing down by voting for incumbent claire mccaskill , who won the senate race by 16 points. establishment republicans publicly shunned aikin after his remarks on legitimate rape, and vowed not to help his campaign. the national republican senatorial committee said in september that it had, quote, no plans to fund aikin's campaign. but according to usa today , the state party reported paying almost exactly that amount, $756,000 to strategic media placement, an ohio firm that akick had used to buy his tv time. a report shows the funds were for w. todd akin . and republicans weren't worrying that he was costing the senate. ann coulter blamed him for being the face of the war on women .
>> look, that whole war on women chitchat about that campaign that was being waged against republicans, it was meaningless until todd akin .
>> joining me now, msnbc's karen finney. karen , when i found out about this, i let out an audible yelp. i could not believe after all that the nrcs ended up funding todd akin . what did you make of it?
>> you know what? business as usual . even at the time i felt they were hedging their bets a little bit because it was not realistic to me that they would give up the shot. if he wasn't going the get out, they were not going to give up the shot of potentially taking back that senate seat. there was no way politically. and they knew frankly the fec reports wouldn't come out until after the report. and then we could all get exercised about it. whatever happened, happened.
>> did whatever happened, happen? does the republican party see any blowback from this? this is the democratic senatorial campaign response. s it is not only wrong that the nrsc would provide funds to support a dangerous extremist like todd akin , it was underhanded and dishonest that they would purposely mislead the public about their actions.
>> i think where they'll have to answer to it is in the bigger picture. and not surprisingly, i disagree with ann coulter on this one, even though she has been saying some rather sensical things of late. the war on women , and that was the biggest calculation i think that the republicans made. it actually really started with the whole incident around susan g. komen and the planned parenthood defunding where women started to see and hear a level of conversation about the importance of women 's health and the politicization of women 's health that they were very uncomfortable with. they couple that with, and there are state measures and there are some going on now where they're trying to give fetuses tax status and personhood amendments still out there. women were already angry at the level of conversation, the disrespect in that conversation, and the sort of lack of equality just in the way that that conversation was being had. then we had the birth control piece. then we had, you know, and even we ended up towards election day in the key battleground states , majorities of women said access to abortion care was their top issue over the economy and jobs. so, again, it wasn't just about what todd akin said. that galvanized i think for a lot of women . and mourdock's comments ingall vannized for a lot of people. but it was much deeper than that.
>> you're talking about mourdock's comments. the nrsc supported mourdock in his bid after he made his comments. the question i guess for the republican party , whether they come to their senses? neither akin nor mourdock won.
>> it seemed to be a repudiation of all their issues on women 's health and women 's health care . and there is a fundamental understanding that republicans need to muzzle, if not excise the elements of their party that are putting this element forward.
>> let's see, alex. last week the house republicans had an opportunity to show that they get it that women should be at the table. and what did they do? not a single woman chair. and then they -- of any committees. and then they got in trouble. so they appointed a woman chair of the administration -- administrative committee, right? so no. i don't think it's really sunk into the consciousness of the republican party yet that, you know, you need to take these issues more seriously, that there will be consequences and backlash. there may not be against the nrsc at this point. but certainly, hopefully they'll learn in the future that candidates, and it's also not in a matter of let's not say legitimate rape or transvaginal ultrasound. it's let's not propose those things. it's more than that. and it's part of what women have to do going forward is holding these guys accountable so that there are consequences for that kind of language and that kind of action.
>> the appointments of the chairs was actually a head-slapping moment for me. how could these guys screw this up again.
>> there seems to be a slight silver lining . maybe eric cantor and vice president joe biden may be working together to reauthorize the violence against women act .
>> are you bullish or bearish?
>> i'm hopeful. i got to say. i actually think there is an understanding of how important it is to get that done. let's be hopeful there. and who knows, alex. maybe that's an opening to a better day for women in the republican party .
>> karen finney, you get tonight's last word. thank you for ending on a high note , my friend.
>> take care.
>> be sure to join me for now at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m . pacific, weekdays right here on msnbc. "the ed show" is up next.