National Democrats are tying former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s controversial comments on birth control and women to House Republicans.
On Thursday, Huckabee criticized Democrats for what he said was making women believe “they cannot control their libido ... without the help of the government."
“Congressman Scott Rigell (R-Va.) needs to immediately condemn these sexist and offensive comments by Governor Huckabee and return the $1,500 in campaign cash he received,” said DCCC spokesman Josh Schwerin. “If Congressman Rigell doesn’t return the money and denounce these comments he will be endorsing the idea that women need the government to provide them birth control to control their libidos.”
The DCCC is also hitting Reps. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and Steve King (R-Iowa), among others.
Huckabee set off a firestorm of Democratic criticism Thursday when he made comments at the winter Republican National Committee meeting pushing back on the Democratic attacks on a Republican “war on women.”
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it," Huckabee said. “Let's take that discussion all across America.”
He went on: "The fact is the Republicans don't have a war on women, they have a war for women, to empower them to be something other than victims of their gender.”
Democrats immediately pounced on the comments, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and various state Democratic parties pointing to Huckabee as an example of politicans espousing “dangerous” policies, as the DSCC said in their hit on Arkansas GOP Senate candidate Rep. Tom Cotton.
The controversy swirled as Republicans are working to regain lost ground with female voters. A significant gender gap helped lose them the 2012 election, and lawmakers and candidates have since been counseled to reevaluate the way they address women and women’s issues.
And Huckabee’s comments overshadowed the news that the party tapped GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to deliver the Republican response to the president's State of the Union address next week.