Was Missouri Rep. and Senate nominee Todd Akin joking or just an idiot?
Open mouth, insert foot Mr. Akin:
“If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother’s life], what about in the case of rape?” asked KTVI host Charles Jaco, in a clip that was disseminated by Talking Points Memo. “Should it be legal or not?”
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Didn’t take long for him to start backtracking that statement. Dems have pounced and the GOP have distanced themselves.
“As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.
“I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.”
I don’t know where Senator Claire McCaskill’s election HQ is, but holy crap, I bet an order was placed for champagne, champagne, and more champagne. Sen. McCaskill is popping bottles at her good fortune. She tweeted:
“Akin previously was the co-sponsor of a bill to redefine rape,” McCaskill said. “And it was recently reported that Akin opposed a state law against spousal rape because it might be used as a tool against husbands in a ‘messy divorce.’ ”
Politicos should note, Rep. Akin has until 5pm Tuesday (Aug. 21st) to withdraw his name from the ballot. Akin was the weakest of the three who were in the primary, so would the state GOP give it to runner up John Brunner? It was 36%-30%-29% with Steelman in third.
Control of the Senate could hinge on this race. Depending on what happens Tuesday at 5pm, this will affect the Senate predictions considerably.
Monday Update (1:12pm):
Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass): “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong…There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.”
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc): “Todd Akin’s statements are reprehensible and inexcusable. Gaining a Republican majority in the US Senate and fixing the huge challenges that face our nation is more important than any one individual’s political ambitions. Todd Akin should do the right thing for the nation and step aside today, so Missouri Republicans can put forth a candidate that can win in November.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas): “Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” Mr. Cornyn said in a written statement. “I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”
Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (R-Mass): “I can’t defend what he said, I can’t defend him… He should spend 24 hours considering what will best help the country at this critical time”
My man Aaron Blake (The Fix) tweeted: “Source: NRSC chair John Cornyn has told Todd Akin that NRSC will not spend money on him and that he is endangering GOP’s majority hopes.”
Crossroads USA (Karl Rover Super PAC) has pulled out of the Missouri Senate Race.
Todd Akin is a man without friends right now and soon to be a man without a party. I do expect him to pull out by tomorrow’s deadline.
Richard Grunell tweets: “Breaking: Senior GOP official: Akin advisors making preparations for a withdrawal tomorrow.”
Erick Erickson tweets: “Todd Akin will withdraw from the Senate race.”
MO GOP has until September 18th to nominate a candidate. There was less than 1% difference between John Brunner and Sarah Steelman.