Morris: Akin story is now 'a big plus for Romney'

Author on how the narrative has changed on congressman's controversial 'rape' comments


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 22, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM: With the media refusing to let this story go, how does the Mitt Romney campaign get his messages out there?

Joining me now to discuss all of this and the political implications from New York Dick Morris, author of the best seller, "Screwed".

Dick, a couple of interesting things here. Let's start with the Chuck Todd comment today. He said, look, "We've done a terrible job covering the economy. It's more about stories than about stats." But, it's everybody's fault that we do this. And I don't really know why Mitt Romney can't get his economic message out. Well, what's your take?

DICK MORRIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it would be wrong to over exaggerate the impact of the media. You're quite right to talk about its bias. It certainly is. And everybody knows that. That's why they are dropping in ratings every week. At some point you're going to hear a sonic boom when O'Reilly passes the networks in ratings which will be soon.

But the point is that you have to play the media coverage to get your message out and the Akin thing is a perfect example of that. I think that story is a big plus for Romney right now. Because the story is not that some kooky Republican congressman running for the senate said something stupid. That was the first story.

Now the story is that the responsible leaders of the Republican Party, Romney and McConnell and Ryan and all of them are piling on Akin's withdraw and he won't. And that really sends a message to pro-choice women that they don't need to be afraid of Mitt Romney, that they don't have to vote for Obama because of that.

And I think Romney is spinning this beautifully and it's defanging the fear motivation in getting Democrats out to vote particularly Democratic women out to vote for Obama.

INGRAHAM: But now you see Democrats coming forward and they are saying well, up and until a few days ago Paul Ryan and Todd Akin agreed on -- on these issues. Then they, you know, worked together on that human life amendment to stop funding for -- for abortion, a defined forcible rape versus rape. And -- and they said well, if he was with him then. How can we trust him now? So they are -- they are taking that nugget and exploding it to try to again, divide the voters and stoke the female votes.

MORRIS: But all of this -- all of this makes it clear that Romney is not there. All of this makes it clear that the Republican Party did, in fact, nominate Romney, not Gingrich or Santorum. And Obama would much rather run against Gingrich or Santorum because he can use them unfairly to scare women.

But he can't use Romney that way. And I think that this is a very effective move by Romney. Sometimes on defense you can score points you couldn't possibly score on offense.

INGRAHAM: Now, I get what you're saying Dick. One thing that happened today on the radio, is a number of people called and emailed in who are pro-life. And they were beginning to feel like they are being dumped on a little bit. And he said look, you throw this guy to the dogs so quickly that's going to give the left a further impetus to jump on every comment by every Republican to try to drum pro-life person after pro-life person out of the Republican Party, in other words, blood in the water. You gave it to them and so it's going to embolden the left. What about that concern?

MORRIS: I see it's the exact opposite, Laura. I think that there are large numbers of Americans who are pro-life who oppose abortion, who want it to be illegal as a form of birth control. But in cases of rape or in cases of incest would support allowing an abortion. I think that probably the polling reflects that the vast majority of pro-lifers agree with that position. And by casting the capability --


INGRAHAM: But it's in the Republican primary -- Republican platform excuse me.

MORRIS: And by casting the possibility of one being a moderate pro- life candidate, who supports -- who wants to outlaw abortion but understands there are certain crucial exceptions, life of the mother, rape and incest, you make clear that this is a spectrum and that Romney is an acceptable place on the spectrum.

Let me also say about the economy, the reason the economy hasn't been the number one issue is because Medicare has been the number one issue. And Ryan has done a spectacular job of using the piggy bank metaphor. You're robbing -- you're using it as a piggy bank, Medicare as a piggy bank to fund Obamacare. And that metaphor makes everybody understands it really well. And it takes a Republican vulnerability and makes it into a tremendous strength. And it takes the aspect of Obamacare that is most offensive, that it's going to lead to rationing of healthcare to the elderly and it puts it front and center.

So I think the coverage of the last two to three weeks. And the things you have to cover have been very pro-Romney. I sense an electricity out there, a momentum for Romney and I would willingly --


INGRAHAM: The last 48 hours have been dominated by this Akin story. I mean it's been --

MORRIS: But I think that's helping that.

INGRAHAM: -- we have this CBO report that came out today that says we could have 9.1 percent unemployment next year and a further degrading of our GDP if this fiscal cliff is allowed to happen.


INGRAHAM: I mean that is a startling warning from the CBO. And I just think the longer we're talking about Akin, the less people will become focused on that and understand the severity of it.

Madeleine Albright, I have to get your reaction to this Dick because you're going to -- I think you'll laugh. Madeleine Albright was talking about who should be blamed for what is going wrong in the country. Let's listen.


MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I am friends with the Truman Foundation and I was in Missouri speaking on behalf of the President Truman and the Foundation. And so I kind of assumed it was a Democratic audience. And I would say many things about the previous administration. Some of which I said here. And all of a sudden this man gets up and says "So how long are you people going to blame the previous administration?" And I said "Forever."


INGRAHAM: Now it's kind of hard to hear but she said "forever".


INGRAHAM: We can blame the previous administration forever. I actually expect better from Madeleine Albright. I'm actually a little surprised about that. That just seems so weak.

MORRIS: Well, I understand that there are plans afoot, Laura, to rename the San Andreas Fault, Bush's fault.

INGRAHAM: That's a really bad joke even for you, Dick. That's a really, really bad one. But I mean, it's just lame, right? It's not the joke. But the --


MORRIS: I -- I think we don't need -- we don't need the coverage of the economy to make us understand there is a bad economy. We know that. Obama would not be in the desperate trouble he's in if it weren't for this economy. And the playing other issues out like Medicare and like rationing of healthcare and Obamacare make a lot of sense.

And by coming across as moderate on abortion, Romney is doing Obama more damage off defense.

INGRAHAM: Interesting.

MORRIS: Than he ever would be off offense.

INGRAHAM: All right, Dick we appreciate it.

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