WASHINGTON -- Michael Baumgartner, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington state, said he has no regrets about telling a reporter to "go fuck yourself" after the journalist pressed him on whether his position on abortion differs from that of embattled Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.).
"It was a personal comment, and he absolutely had it coming," Baumgartner told the conservative website Red Alert Politics in an interview Tuesday.
Baumgartner holds the same position on abortion as Akin, the Senate candidate who caused a bipartisan uproar with Aug. 19 remarks that women's bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."
When Josh Feit, a reporter for the PubliCola blog at Seattle Met Magazine pointed out that both Baumgartner and Akin oppose abortion without exceptions for rape or incest, Baumgartner fired off an angry email that quickly captured national headlines.
"Josh, this is Pat Feeks, a Navy SEAL killed last week in Afghanistan," Baumgartner wrote. "Take a good look and then go fuck yourself."
Baumgartner, challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell in Washington state, later apologized for his "strong language."
In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Baumgartner admitted sending Feit the inflammatory email and chalked it up to frustration with what he described as the the media's apathy toward the war in Afghanistan.
Baumgartner has tried to center his campaign platform on national defense, highlighting his diplomatic experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I think most people would like to pretend that the war is on the back pages and it's really not going on," Baumgartner told Red Alert Politics.
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