Phil Gingrey Changes His Mind On High-Capacity Magazines, Support For Todd Akin

03/12/2013 08:32 am ET | Updated Mar 12, 2013

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) is apparently thinking about jumping into the race to replace retiring Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss and, as a part of getting ready to present himself as a credible candidate, is walking back some of his previous positions. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway -- your must-follow for all things political in Georgia -- has the story:

In an attempt to clear the air before a possible Senate run, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey on Monday said he no longer considers a ban on high-capacity magazines a useful method of curbing gun violence -- and retracted his controversial defense of Todd Akin and statements about a woman's inability to become pregnant as a result of rape.

As you can see, Gingrey is walking back in two different directions. Gingrey now says that his previous openness to a ban on high-capacity magazines was a position he took in the heat of the moment after the Sandy Hook tragedy. Now that he's had some time to think about things, he's come to realize that he'll be participating in a highly competitive GOP primary in a ruby-red state, so high-capacity magazines are now totally fine.

His rape comments, on the other hand, are another story entirely. Back on Jan. 11, whilst breakfasting with the Smyrna Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Gingrey rose in defense of beleaguered and defeated Missouri Senate aspirant Todd Akin, telling those gathered that when Akin said that in the case of a "legitimate rape," a "woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur," he was "partly right on that."

Of course, in the days after, Karl Rove would announce the launch of his Conservative Victory Project, the purpose of which is to financially bolster the hopes of candidates deemed "electable." And right out of the gate, Rove's aide-de-camp Steven J. Law referred to the "Todd Akin problem" as something the group intended to treat as a dealbreaker.

Should he choose to run, Gingrey would be nosing into an already crowded field. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is, so far, the only person who has announced his intention to run for Chambliss' seat, but Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is also flirting with getting into the race -- and he's already trying to position himself as the natural candidate of the Conservative Victory Project's affections.

If Gingrey wants to beat Price to Rove's millions, he's got to come correct, and so he's rethinking what he said about Akin's position on "legitimate" rape. As Galloway reports, Gingrey is admitting that his comments on the matter were "stupid":

"I made a very awkward attempt to explain the unexplainable," he said, admitting the resulting political damage has been self-inflicted.

This would probably be a good time to mention that Gingrey is an OB-GYN, wouldn't it? And indeed, Gingrey says that he's come to a realization about the female body after having "conversations with James Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists" in which they "went over articles and more recent journals" and came to the general understanding that, rather than women having some sort of magical pregnancy failsafe mechanism, that "the opposite is probably true," as Gingrey put it.

"So you learn," said Gingrey. Very true, only most people "learn" that stuff at fully accredited medical schools.

READ THE WHOLE THING:
Phil Gingrey rejects gun clip limits, changes course on Todd Akin [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]

Also on HuffPost:

Todd Akin's Greatest Hits

CONVERSATIONS