In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Republicans Take Credit For Violence Against Women Act After Voting Against It

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Newscom / Chris Maddaloni

"I am pleased to support efforts to protect all women in this country from domestic abuse and other forms of violence," Hartzler said in a statement. "Violence against women, in all its forms, is unacceptable."

A Hartzler spokesman told McClatchy that the statement was not intended to deceive.

This tactic was used by multiple House Republicans who voted 87-138 against final passage of VAWA. They voted for the failed GOP alternative. The final VAWA, which passed 78-22 in the Senate, cleared the House 286-138, with mostly Democratic votes.

Those Republicans want to protect themselves from right-wing challengers, who might invoke vote scorecards from groups like Heritage Action and the Club For Growth to call into question their conservative credentials. (Conservatives objected to expanded protections for gays and illegal immigrants, and questioned the constitutionality of tribal land provisions.) But the GOP lawmakers also don't want their constituents to know they ultimately voted against passage of legislation aimed at helping women who are victims of domestic violence and rape.

Western Pennsylvania Republican Reps. Keith Rothfus and Tim Murphy were called out by their local paper for issuing similar, misleading statements about their votes on VAWA -- "Rothfus Votes to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act" and "Murphy Votes To Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act." Both voted for the GOP version but against final passage.

As reported by MSNBC's Steve Benen, and picked up by Huffington Post, other Republican congressmen who touted their support for VAWA while voting against the final reauthorization included Reps. Tim Griffin (R-AR), Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Bill Johnson (R-OH).

Some Republicans were more forthcoming about how they handled their dilemma.

"Unfortunately," said Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), "today Congress chose not to approve the most effective version of the Violence Against Women Act, but this will not deter me from continuing to support efforts to protect women."