Meet Tom Smith, the Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania. Smith has never had to deal with a situation as difficult as his daughter being impregnated by a rapist. But he's had to deal with, in his words, "something similar": his daughter becoming pregnant after consensual sex with a man to whom she wasn't married.

Smith was being asked about comments made by Rep. Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin, Missouri senate candidate and person who believes that women almost never become pregnant following rape, when he appeared to indicate that he regarded his daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy as almost as bad as rape:

"What that congressman said I do not agree with at all," Smith said. "He should have never said anything like that.

"I lived something similar to that with my own family," he went on to say. "She chose life and I commend her for that. She knew my views but fortunately for me … she chose the way I thought. Now don't get me wrong. It wasn't rape."

Smith was then asked if his daughter's unwed pregnancy and rape were similar. "No, no, no. Put yourself in a father's position, yes, I mean it is similar," he said.

Asked again to clarify his statement, Smith said he wasn't comparing the two.

"No, I didn't not say that," Smith said. "I said I went through a situation (with a daughter). It's very, very difficult. But do I condone rape? Absolutely not. But do I propose life, yes I do. I'm pro-life, period.

Smith is behind his opponent, Sen. Bob Casey, by 18 points, so it's not like this changes the dynamic of the race. It just reveals that Smith believes the operative set of feelings and decisions about his daughter's sex life are his, and that hers — in particular her consent — are irrelevant. Worse, it's a tacit admission that Smith would be ashamedof his daughter if she were raped, just as he apparently is by her pregnancy.

[ via TPM, image via AP]