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CNN Blames GOP Reps for Women Saying Abortion Most Important Issue

After a Gallup poll showed abortion as the top issue among likely women voters, CNN's Carol Costello suggested Republicans are responsible – and not in a good way.

"Why now? Maybe it's because there's been so much controversial language surrounding the issue lately, like Congressman Todd Akin's 'legitimate rape' comments," said Costello, bringing in the Democratic talking points.

[Video below. Audio here.]

She added "quite controversial" remarks from Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and asked "But because these sorts of comments are out there, might that be a reason that women are so concerned about the abortion issue?"

And Costello tarred Mitt Romney with their "controversial" words. "But, Ana, it is true Mitt Romney is pro-life. But he believes there are exceptions for the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. So, when you have comments like what Joe Walsh just said, it just paints Republican men in an unrealistic way, perhaps?"

Republican strategist Ana Navarro shot down her argument. "Look, Carol, let me tell you something, if we got rid of every congressman and every legislator who's ever said something that's ridiculous or ignorant, we'd be left with precious few people in the United States Congress," she maintained.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on CNN Newsroom on October 19 at 9:31 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

[9:31]

CAROL COSTELLO: So what is the top issue for women voters? Equal pay? Mitt Romney's "binders of women" comment? The economy? Nope. It's abortion. That's what a new Gallup poll shows. 39 percent of women say abortion is the number one issue for them in the campaign. And that has more than a few women asking, abortion? Why now? Maybe it's because there's been so much controversial language surrounding the issue lately, like Congressman Todd Akin's legitimate rape comments. And just yesterday, Ann Romney visited the ladies on The View and she talked about her own take on abortion.

(...)

COSTELLO: Oh, you're not kidding. Another congressman, Republican Joe Walsh made some comments about abortion last night and they are quite controversial. Let's listen to that and then I'll ask you about it, Maria.

(Video Clip)

Rep. JOE WALSH (R-Ill.): This is an issue that opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. There is no such exception as life of the mother. And as far as health of the mother, same thing with advances in science and technology, there's – health of the mother has become a tool for abortions anytime, under any reason.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: So, Maria, he appears to be saying that women are using the excuse of health of the mother to get abortions, at least that's how it sounds to me. But because these sorts of comments are out there, might that be a reason that women are so concerned about the abortion issue?

(...)

COSTELLO: But, Ana, it is true Mitt Romney is pro-life. But he believes there are exceptions for the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. So, when you have comments like what Joe Walsh just said, it just paints Republican men in an unrealistic way, perhaps?

ANA NAVARRO, GOP strategist: Look, Carol, let me tell you something, if we got rid of every congressman and every legislator who's ever said something that's ridiculous or ignorant, we'd be left with precious few people in the United States Congress.

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center