The “legitimate rape” comment is hardly the first controversial thing rogue Senate candidate Todd Akin has said in his career. So why did national Republican leadership stand by silently as he shot to victory — with the help of $1.5 million in Democratic money — in such a critical Republican Senate primary? You would think the fact that Claire McCaskill was running pro-Akin ads should have been enough of a red flag.
One reason could be that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has declined to endorse and fund candidates in open seat primaries, after the blowback it received from the conservative grassroots in 2009 and 2010. Back then; NRSC came under massive fire from the Tea Party for backing “RINO” Republicans like Charlie Crist (over Rubio in Florida), Lisa Murkowski (over Joe Miller in Alaska) and Arlen Specter (over Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania). Conservatives inundated the phone lines of the NRSC and its chair Sen. John Cornyn’s office, demanding support for Tea Party-approved candidates.
Today on the Mike Huckabee show (and again immediately following on Dana Loesch’s program), Rep. Todd Akin told Americans that he has no intention of dropping out of his Senate race. Akin caused a firestorm earlier this week after remarks about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy. Despite calls from every corner of the GOP establishment and Tea Party for Akin to step aside before the 5 p.m. central time deadline, Akin has refused.
Judging from Akin’s interview with Huckabee today, it doesn’t appear he fully comprehends why the level of outrage is where it is, nor does he grasp just how much anger he has instigated from across the political spectrum. Akin told Huckabee: “It does seem to be a little bit of an overreaction.” He explained that he misspoke “one word in one sentence in one day.”
This month two prominent politicians have said remarkably stupid things: Vice President Joe Biden warned that Republicans were going to put a largely black crowd “back into chains” and the Republican running for the Missouri Senate said that women who experienced “legitimate rape” could naturally prevent pregnancy. Both statements were incredibly stupid, even for politicians, and were the definition of offensive; but the responses of each party highlights their differences quite clearly.
After Vice President Joe Biden’s warning to a largely black audience about being put “back in chains” the liberal elite in the media called his remarks a “gaffe.” While there were questions put to the White House about his remaining on the ticket, there were no serious demands for his ouster. One would think the threat of slavery for voting the “wrong way” would have been accompanied with demands for his resignation. But there were none–not from the media and not from fellow Democrats. The White House and its surrogates defended and pushed aside Biden’s remarks, as they consistently have, no matter how offensive the statement. Biden himself refused to apologize, instead first trying to downplay it, and then disappearing to an undisclosed location somewhere far away from cameras and microphones.
Todd Akin’s campaign continues to undergo one of the fastest implosions on record. Not only is Mitt Romney pushing him toward the door, the National Republican Senatorial Committee said it will yank financial support for his Senate bid, CNN reports:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee will no longer support Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri in his U.S. Senate bid, a source from the group told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash on Monday.
It was communicated to the congressman that the NRSC will be pulling out if he decides to stay in the race, the source said one day after the Senate candidate sparked a firestorm by claiming that “legitimate rape” rarely resulted in pregnancy.