In the days following the election, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and former George W. Bush adviser Karen Hughes both have commented that their party was hurt by offensive things some Republican men (ahem, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock) said about rape.
In an op-ed at Politico on Friday, Hughes opined that Romney “lost because of communications mistakes that our party must correct.” She had some especially strong words for Akin, Mourdock, and their ilk:
[I]f another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue. The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of “legitimate rape.”
No word on what she would do with those tongues. Hughes’ op-ed, which called for the GOP to better communicate with younger and more diverse voters, came on the heels of Hutchison’s comments on the issue to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Thursday:
We had Republican candidates who got very high-profile and said some very stupid things. I think that really tainted the party even though Mitt Romney came right out and said “This is not right, we disagree with this.” The party leadership did the same thing. No one embraced Todd Akin after he said those things, including the Republican campaign committees, but yet it was used in the political sense against us. I think the feeling is that ‘Republicans don’t get it’ because they would say something like that.
And Texas Republican women aren’t the only ones expressing such sentiments. Some GOP men have also chimed in, including Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who put it a little more bluntly, telling Politico‘s Jonathan Martin in a 45-minute telephone interview that Republicans should “stop being the stupid party.”
It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that. It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.
On Twitter, Andrew Stiles had this tip for future Republican candidates:
Fair warning, GOP 2016 hopefuls: You have THREE YEARS to figure out how to answer the “is rape good?” question.
— Andrew Stiles (@AndrewStilesWFB) November 12, 2012
*A gold star to anyone who can turn the photo of KBH and Karen Hughes into a meme in the vein of this one featuring General David Petraeus and General John Allen.