For some insane reason, tea-party Representative Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee taped himself pressuring his mistress into getting an abortion back in 2000, the Huffington Post reports today. DesJarlais, now a pro-life Republican congressman, was a doctor at the time, and met the woman when she had a foot problem during a rocky time in his marriage. "You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais tells the woman, according to a transcript of the recording obtained by HuffPo. "This is not fair to me. I don't want you in my life," the woman says. "Well, I didn't want to be in your life either, but you lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that's not my fault, that's yours," DesJarlais responds. The woman counters, "Well, it's [your] fault for sleeping with your patient."
DesJarlais, who currently holds an edge over Democratic challenger Eric Stewart, beat sitting Democrat Lincoln Davis in a nasty 2010 race that included other skeletons from the doctor's 2001 divorce. Their couple's divorce filing "included allegations that he held a gun in his own mouth for hours in one instance and that he 'dry fired' a gun outside his wife's bedroom in another," charges DesJarlais denied at the time.
But this is a whole other thing, based on the transcript:
"You told me you would have time to go with me and everything," the woman complains.
"I said, if I could, I would, didn't I? And I will try," DesJarlais says. "If I can [find] time, you're saying you still will?"
"Yeah," the woman answers. [...]
"Well, we've got to do something soon. And you've even got to admit that because the clock is ticking right?" he says at another point.
Craziest of all is that DesJarlais allegedly made the tape himself, in an attempt to save his marriage. According to DesJarlais's 2010 opponent, the cheating doctor's ex-wife confirmed the recording's provenance: "She said he did it himself. She said the doctor did. She said, 'He recorded it and let me listen to it,'" Davis said. "She confirmed to me that Scott DesJarlais is the one who actually did the recording, and let her listen to it."
DesJarlais does not deny the call's existence, but gave deflection a shot in a statement: "Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation's problems, yet it appears my opponents are choosing to once again engage in the same gutter politics that CBS news called the dirtiest in the nation just 2 years ago," he said. But he brought this one upon himself.