Ryan pulls support for Wis. lawmaker after rape comment

Republican vice presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to supporters at Westlake Recreation Center on September 4, 2012 in Westlake, Ohio.
Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has pulled his endorsement of a Republican Wisconsin lawmaker after controversial remarks he made about rape, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Wisconsin state representative Roger Rivard came under fire for remarks he made to the Chetek Alert newspaper last December about his father's advice to look out for girls who "rape so easy" -- in other words, women who consent to sex and then later claim it wasn't consensual.

Rivard's remarks only caught the attention of his Democratic rival Stephen Smith this August, the Journal Sentinel reports, after another Republican -- Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin -- gave his own controversial remarks on rape.

The Republican told the Journal Sentinel that his remarks were taken out of context and explained them this way: "What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, 'If you're going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.' So the way he said it was, 'Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning."

Rivard later issued a statement calling rape "a horrible act of violence" and noting that "sexual assault unfortunately often goes unreported to police."

A spokesman for Ryan, who also hails from Wisconsin, said Rivard's comments were "outrageous and offensive."

"Congressman Ryan believes there is no place in our discourse for rhetoric such as this," Kevin Seifert, the campaign manager for Ryan's congressional campaign, told the Journal Sentinel. "Congressman Ryan cannot support Mr. Rivard or his indefensible comments."

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who had also endorsed Rivard, condemned the lawmaker's comments, as did Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy. Duffy had not endorsed Rivard but had received a $500 campaign donation from him. Duffy said he would donate the $500 to the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse in Superior.