Pro-life Congressman Scott DesJarlais said Friday “God has forgiven him” about recent revelations that his first wife had two abortions more than a decade ago, but that may not stop a host of fellow Republicans from running against him.
The recently elected 4th District Representative spoke on the air about the issue for one of the first times Friday.
On Nashville's News This Morning with Ralph Bristol, the host told Congressman DesJarlais “The implication was that there have been no abortions in your past and that is what you wanted your voters to believe that.”
DesJarlais responded to that by saying, “I don't think I implied that there was nothing in my past.”
Earlier this month, the Tennessee Democratic Party released nearly 700-pages of DesJarlais' 2001 divorce transcripts.
In it, Rep. DesJarlais said his then had wife had two abortions when they were together. One he described as a “mutual decision.”
The divorce transcripts also confirmed Huffington Post's reports this fall that DesJarlais, a medical doctor, once urged a patient he was dating to have an abortion.
The congressman responded at the time there was “no pregnancy, no abortion,” and that he was using language to get her to admit the truth.
Friday, DesJarlais said on Bristol's radio show, “I know God has forgiven me, and I simply ask my fellow Christians and constituents to do the same for me. So I don't think I was misleading anybody.”
But forgiveness won't be easy within his own party.
Several other fellow Republicans are exploring running against DesJarlais in the sprawling 4th District which now includes heavily populated Rutherford County.
Just this week, state representative Kevin Brooks indicated people have talked to him about running.
State Senator Jim Tracy has made similar comments, as have state representative Joe Carr, and former congressional candidates Wes Wamp and Forrest Shoaf.
DesJarlais did not address the growing list of potential challengers
He did say on the radio show that, “I believe in grace and redemption. I think God gave me a second chance.”
But some hope that second chance does not include a third term in Congress.
- Nov. 27, 2012: Group files ethics complaint against Rep. DesJarlais
- Nov. 22, 2012: Rep. DesJarlais: No plans to resign; regrets actions
- Nov. 15, 2012: DesJarlais transcripts show sexual relationships, abortions
- Nov. 6, 2012: Scott DesJarlais defeats Democratic challenger Eric Stewart
- Nov. 6, 2012: DesJarlais only Tenn. congressman with tough race
- Nov. 5, 2012: Democrats wait not over yet for DesJarlais divorce transcripts
- Nov. 2, 2012: Scott DesJarlais keeps low profile before vote next week
- Oct. 18, 2012: 4th District voters weigh in on DesJarlais allegations
- Oct. 12, 2012: Rep. DesJarlais responds to abortion recording allegations
- Oct. 10, 2012: Rep. Scott DesJarlais urged mistress to have abortion