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Republican VP nominee Ryan withdraws endorsement of Rice Lake lawmaker


RICE LAKE, WI (WTAQ) - Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has withdrawn his endorsement of a northwest Wisconsin state lawmaker who said he was told by his father that “some girls rape easy.”

Ryan’s congressional campaign said Thursday it would no longer endorse Assembly Republican Roger Rivard of Rice Lake in his re-election contest next month against Democrat Stephen Smith.

Smith’s campaign made an issue about remarks that Rivard made to a Chetek newspaper last December about a high school rape case. He said his father warned him that some girls and women can agree to sex, and then claim later it was not consensual.

Rivard said he was not quoted in his full context – and he later tried to clarify that his father was advising him not to have pre-marital sex, and that sexual assault is a, “horrible act of violence.” But his opponent said Rivard’s views are “extreme.”

Kevin Seifert of the Ryan camp called Rivard’s comments “outrageous, offensive,” and “indefensible.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Governor Scott Walker and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson also endorsed Rivard – and they have not said whether they’ll keep doing so. GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson also denounced Rivard’s comments Thursday, saying offenders must be held accountable to, “the utmost degree.”

Smith said he didn’t get wind of his opponent’s remarksuntil after this summer’s flap over House Republican Todd Akin’s claim that women can avoid pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.”

Ryan and others called on Akin to withdraw his Senate candidacy – but Akin refused to do so.