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Paul Ryan: Term 'forcible rape' is 'stock language' for laws

Even as the Republican Party works to distance itself from Rep. Todd Akin's comments on rape, Paul Ryan is struggling to articulate a defense of his remarkably similar views. Defending his co-sponsorship of a bill that narrowly defined rape using the term "forcible rape," Ryan said Monday that "forcible rape" is just “stock language” for laws.

"This is language that was stock language used for lots of different bills, bills I didn't author, and that language was removed, to be very clear, and I agree with that," Ryan said. "Removing that language, so we are very clear. Rape is rape, period, end of story."

Pennsylvania's Republican Senate candidate Tom Smith also seems to misunderstand the gravity of rape. On Monday, he said that having a child out of wedlock is “similar” to rape, particularly for the father

But according to Salon's Joan Walsh, the problem isn't Ryan and Smith said, but what they want to do.

“I can see why Todd Akin and Tom Smith are kind of stumbling, because their ignorance is so widely accepted and it doesn’t really matter,” Walsh said. “On the one hand this language is disgusting and ignorant, but the real reason Paul Ryan can say it doesn’t matter is that they don’t believe in any exemption for rape and incest in our abortion laws.”