Piers Morgan said on Thursday that the Todd Akin controversy supports "the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women," playing into the Democratic playbook.
"I suppose the problem is what it does is it lends again succor to the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women," he stated after bringing up Akin's remarks in an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife Cindy.
He also began his question with an odd assertion. "Cindy, social conservative issues have reared their ugly head again. They're not all ugly, obviously, some of them are very laudable," he corrected himself.
Cindy McCain, for her part, slammed the GOP platform's opposition to abortion in all cases including rape, incest, and life of the mother. "I'm sorry for that. As a woman, I'm sorry for that. We don't agree on that issue," she insisted.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on CNN Newsroom on August 30 at 11:44 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD: The Republican who ran for president last time around has a lot to say about this year's race. And you may have heard some of John McCain's thoughts at the GOP convention last night, another great speech delivered from the podium. Tonight, Piers Morgan is going to have an interview with not only Senator McCain, but his wife, Cindy, as well. They sat down together to talk about a conversation that spans the entire globe. And we have a special excerpt for you, this part on so-called women's issues and the GOP.
PIERS MORGAN, host, Piers Morgan Tonight: Cindy, social conservative issues have reared their ugly head again. They're not all ugly, obviously, some of them are very laudable. But last week, the Todd Akin roil blew up. And to me, it feels strange that you have Mitt Romney who clearly has moved around on, say, an issue like abortion. Paul Ryan has moved toward Mitt Romney's sort of compromise position that there should be exceptions. The GOP platform still resolutely insists there cannot be any abortions even in the cases of rape, incest or health to the mother. As a Republican, how do you feel about that?
CINDY MCCAIN, wife of John McCain: I'm sorry for that. As a woman, I'm sorry for that. We don't agree on that issue. I mean, I clearly – John and I take a different stand on that. But it's also not the most important issue that is driving this campaign. I think outside sources are driving it. But that's not what's – as a woman and as, you know, people here, we are concerned about the economy.
MORGAN: I suppose the problem is what it does is it lends again succor to the argument that the Republican Party is anti-women.
CINDY MCCAIN: Right.
MORGAN: And that is its problem. The moment I heard what Todd Akin said, I could play out in my head exactly how that story was going to go. I'm sure you guys – I'm sure every one in the senior level of the Republican Party went, oh, here we go.
Sen. JOHN MCCAIN, (R-Ariz.): First of all, I agree with you, it was harmful to our party. Second of all, the platform, some wag said at one point, it's what you stand on during the convention and run away from during the campaign.
CINDY MCCAIN: Yeah.
JOHN MCCAIN: And the fact is, people care what Mitt Romney's position is, which is the exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. That's what they care about more. The third thing is I think it's important to keep in mind that what Mr. – Congressman Akin was talking about was not abortion, it was about rape. And all of us find – that's why all of us find that totally unacceptable, what he said. We were offended that he should state such a thing. And by the way, getting the nomination of your party for the senate or the presidency is a privilege. He has abused that privilege. That's why he should no longer be the candidate of the Republican Party in Missouri.
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