Candidate tweets the news
Todd Akin may have lost all of his funding from the national Republican party as well as his invitation to the GOP convention, but who needs the institution anyway? The ostracized congressional candidate claims to have raised over $100,000 online. He made the announcement on Twitter Thursday morning, following days of bad press after he claimed victims of "legitimate rape" could not get pregnant. "The message is clear...voters should pick candidates, not party bosses," he tweeted.
Before Wednesday night speech at RNC.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told hundreds of Southern Baptists on a conference call to continue supporting Todd “illegitimate rape” Akin in his Missouri Senate race last Friday night. He reportedly also called Akin a “solution” to threatening lobbies like Planned Parenthood. The National Republic Senatorial Committee responded to Huckabee’s comments, saying they continue to “not see eye to eye with him on this race.” Huckabee also spoke at the RNC Wednesday night, where he attacked Obama noting “he said, 'You didn’t build it.' Translation: 'It doesn’t rightly belong to you!"
With tour, summit, video.
Republican women: the Obama campaign is coming for you. In a new video, the campaign features a number of women speaking about leaving the GOP, citing the party’s views on abortion. On Saturday, the Democrats are planning an event in Las Vegas called “Women Vote 2012 Summit.” Next week, Democratic congresswomen and Obama backers will launch a multi-state tour called “Romney/Ryan: Wrong For Women.” Meanwhile, Romney’s camp announced last week a “Women for Mitt” coalition to entice female voters. Republicans this week are trying to distance themselves from the controversial comments on rape and pregnancy made by Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Rape and other violence threats against Missouri Republican.
Todd Akin may have more problems than outraged Democrats and fleeing Republicans. U.S. Capitol police said Thursday that they have started "an active, open investigation" into a threat made against the Missouri congressman and Senate candidate. Akin has spent the last week in the public eye after saying that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” a comment for which he has since apologized and attempted to clarify. A spokesman for Akin said threats have been made against the congressman and his family over the past week—especially threats of rape and other violence.
Built up loyal following while in the House.
After losing the support of his own party, this news has to come to some comfort to Todd Akin. The Missouri Senate candidate still has support of many conservative Christian groups, who have remained loyal allies during Akin’s tumultuous week. During Akin’s 11 years in the House of Representatives, he has supported a Christian agenda—and that has not gone unnoticed. Meanwhile, the controversy of Akin’s remarks continued: President Obama said Akin “missed a science class,” and politics as far away as Massachusetts were affected, as heated debates over the “war on women” began to take over the Senate race there.
The average American, courtesy of Todd Akin, is now learning that banning abortion for rape or incest victims is an official GOP platform. But it was only a matter of time before voters learned how extreme the party has become—and now Romney must deal with the fallout.
Do all these leading Republicans and conservatives want Todd Akin to drop out because of the potential balance of the next Senate? Oh sure, that’s one reason. But it isn’t the main one. Akin’s views, and his coziness on these matters with House colleague Paul Ryan, threaten to do enormous damage to the GOP ticket. A “well-wired Republican” told Mike Allen for his Wednesday Playbook that Akin “could even put Missouri into the Obama column.” That’s a reach, probably. But this much is true: to a greater extent, of course, if Akin stays in, but to some extent even if he leaves, he helps turn this election from an economic referendum on Barack Obama to a cultural referendum on the Troglocons.
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, with Rep. Todd Akin on Capitol Hill in 2011. Rep. Akin’s views—and the fact of his coziness on these matters with Ryan—threaten to do enormous damage to the GOP ticket, writes Michael Tomasky. (AP Photos)
Rarely is the door flung open for the rest of us as it has been by Akin to the kind of mystical and reactionary drool that passes for theology on today’s right. The average American, if she’s paying even a little attention this week, is learning that it is not merely the case that Republicans oppose abortion rights as a general matter. She is grasping, and probably for the first time, even though it’s been official GOP doctrine for years, that the party wants victims of incest and rape to be forced to carry those fetuses to term. She is learning that many in the party and the movement seem to think, astonishingly, that there is truly bad rape and rape that really isn’t such an imposition.
And if she’s paying a bit more than casual attention, she is figuring out that Akin is not some crazy outlier but indeed a comrade in arms of the party’s vice-presidential nominee. She’ll have read about the bill Akin and Ryan gleefully helped sponsor that made the rape distinction. And if the Democrats and the women’s groups do their jobs as they should in the coming days and weeks, she may be left to ponder that the man who’ll be a heartbeat away from the presidency once implied that women could be jailed for getting abortions. “If it’s illegal, it’s illegal” is how Ryan described the appropriate punishment for women who receive abortions in states that would make the practice illegal in Ryan’s dream world. The line richly deserves to enter the public lexicon, in the manner of “read my lips” and “I did not have sex with that woman.”
And, if the Democrats and women’s groups do their jobs, the average American will be informed that the man at the top of the ticket, whatever glib nonsense he sputters today, has long supported the idea of a “personhood” amendment to the Constitution, which could ban not just abortions but in-vitro fertilization and some types of birth control. How reactionary is this? The voters of Mississippi—Mississippi!—voted such an amendment down by 16 points last year once they had a chance to ruminate on its implications.
Call it Trogloconservatism—the rise of caveman politics. These views expressed by Akin, held by Ryan, and endorsed by Romney, are not anywhere close to being on the normal political scale. I think many women, and not a few men, would find these positions not merely objectionable but shocking.
Tina Brown, Mark McKinnon and Tony Dokoupil talk about how Akin's "legitimate rape" comment may have cost Romney the female vote.
And here is an important point. These are the kinds of issues and views that will inevitably take up a lot of oxygen. And rightly so. There’s a reason our debates on reproductive issues are so heated. These issues are personal, a lot more so than Medicare or marginal tax rates. And the chance that Roe v. Wade might be overturned someday soon is real enough, and the prospect of a Romney presidency, with possible liberal high court retirements in the offing, increases that chance. If Roe doesn’t exist, the states will become the laboratories of these crackpot ideas. If voters are made to understand all this, we are looking at a gender gap of at least 20 points. (It was 14 percent in Obama’s favor in 2008.) A 20-point deficit among the people who’ll make up probably 53 percent of the electorate is something Republicans ought to be very worried about indeed.
Wrote legislation with that language with Todd Akin.
Despite Paul Ryan’s personally urging Todd Akin to resign, his friendship with Akin is coming back to haunt him. Ryan on Wednesday declined to discuss his cosponsorship of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which included a reference to “forcible rape.” The language was eventually dropped from the final bill, but when asked on Wednesday about the phrasing recently, Ryan replied, “Rape is rape, and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.” He declined to say if a woman who becomes pregnant from rape should be allowed an abortion, saying, “I’m proud of my pro-life record and I stand by my pro-life record in Congress.”
At his party's request.
Todd Akin is not giving up the fight for Democrat Claire McCaskill's Senate seat, despite pleas from practically everyone for him to do so. But the Congressional hopeful's not a total jerk. He'll do his party a solid and "honor their particular wishes" by not making an appearance at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week. On Monday, RNC Chair Reince Priebus told CNN's Erin Burnett that Akin's comments about rape were "dumb" and "bizarre" and that he'd rather the Missouri Republican stay home during the GOP convention.
But Senate candidate insists he is "standing on principle."
This is a whole new world of going rogue. Embattled Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin said on Wednesday that Paul Ryan personally called and told him to him step aside. Ryan and Akin have cosponsored legislation regarding abortion together, but Akin said he is “standing on principle,” although he did say he would “honor” Ryan and Mitt Romney’s wishes that he not appear at the convention. GOP sources said that Akin apparently ignored calls from GOP officials who wanted him to drop out of the race as the clock wound down toward the 5 p.m. CT deadline.
Just as voters are taking a serious look at Romney and Ryan—and the Republican convention is finalizing its anti-abortion platform—Todd Akin’s stunning ignorance has women rushing for the exits, says former Bush and McCain adviser Mark McKinnon.
A reporter asked me recently about the importance of convention platforms, and I said I couldn’t remember a convention platform that had any real impact on the outcome of an election. Well, thanks to Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin, this year’s party platform will likely get a lot more attention than it otherwise would have and could have real impact on the outcome of the election.
The Akin fiasco could not have been more poorly timed for Republicans.
At exactly the time voters are looking seriously at the Republican ticket, and the ticket wants to send a message of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion, Akin says: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Boom. Akin’s stunning ignorance is the political equivalent of the GOP riding over an IED. And the shrapnel is shredding everyone.
So now we can expect days of discussion about Republicans and abortion, and a heightened focus on the platform language that was drafted Monday: “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.” That means no exceptions. Not rape. Not incest. Not the life of the mother.
The head of the platform committee is Gov. Bob McDonnell, who attracted national attention when the Virginia legislature considered legislation making ultrasounds mandatory for any woman seeking an abortion.
Akin is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri's U.S. Senate race. (Jeff Roberson / AP Photo)
Judith Regan counts the ways she loves Republican men—the guys who still believe in immaculate conception and Santa Claus, and think rape is sex between two adults and that women bewitch men.
You have to love Republican men like Rep. Todd Akin. They still believe in unicorns and true love. They believe not only in immaculate conceptions, but in spontaneous abortions and magical miscarriages too. They believe in divine interventions and Santa Claus. They believe in the absolute power of the female. They believe we are so powerful, so amazing, so superhuman that we can snap our magic little bewitching fingers and will our own pregnancies to end, especially if we are raped, but then again who really gets raped? I mean really. What is rape? Isn’t it sex between two adults? Seriously, if women stopped having sex outside of marriage no one would get raped.
Jeff Roberson / AP Photo
And then you wouldn’t have to get pregnant and will yourself a miscarriage. If you got married and had a child in a loving home, there would be no crime and all our social problems would be cured. You wouldn’t need public assistance. You’d have a proper father in the home to teach your bastard child right from wrong. Everyone knows that. Worldwide, everyone knows that.
In Saudi Arabia, they know you hot mamas have bewitching powers too. That is why they are building a female-only city so hot babes with college degrees can only look at each other all day long instead of luring men. You know what happens to men when women are present? They grow weak in the knees and bad things happen. It is because of you, you woman you. Stop being so attractive, and hide under your veil.
And if you can’t hide under a veil because it’s 120 degrees outside and you want a place that's more humane, we can be like the super Orthodox Jews in Israel who now have special prescription eyewear to blur women from their line of sight. I don’t quite understand how they work, but then again, I’m a woman. I exist merely as meat for the hungry wolf, an incubator for his progeny and a servant to his needs. All I know is that those “immodestly dressed” females should be put out of sight in one way or another lest bad things happen. And the glasses are a bargain—$6 a pair. That’s nothing, to protect the sanctity of women. That and the modesty patrols should do the trick.
But as the Taliban knows, we sometimes need even more than a pair of special glasses to blur women to avoid temptation. They know we need to “secure environments where the chasteness and dignity of women may once again be sacrosanct." Burqas can sometimes do the trick. No woman is likely to lure a man to rape if she’s covered head to toe in cloth, unless of course she is wearing fingernail polish, in which case her fingertip should be cut off. It is only right.
Everyone knows the face of a woman is a source of corruption for men. Especially in Afghanistan, where men run wild and have weapons and can go for days up and down mountains.
Watch Akin's controversial 'legitimate rape' comment.
Even without help from Republican establishment.
Despite the furor over Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments, he has decided to remain in the race. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney called on Akin to "exit the Senate race," as Republican Party officials admitted that they have run out of time to pressure Akin to step aside on his own by the Tuesday-evening deadline. Akin has until Sept. 25 to take his name off the ballot, but let the initial deadline to do so pass Tuesday night.
Says former Democratic congressman turned Republican.
Artur Davis, former Democratic congressman turned Republican, told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Tuesday morning that if Todd Akin doesn’t resign his candidacy for Senate, President Obama could win Missouri. And Romney may know it. On Tuesday, the GOP candidate called on Akin to remove himself from the Senate race. In light of Akin’s recent “legitimate rape”–gate, Davis predicted that the Republican from Missouri is “not going to win this race, and it’s very possible that he could cost Romney this state.”
Releases new ad in Missouri.
At least Todd Akin believes in himself. The Missouri Republican released a new ad Tuesday where he asked voters to forgive him. "The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy ... I am asking for your forgiveness," Akin says in the ad, where he speaks directly to the camera. Akin insisted Monday night that he will stay in the Senate race despite being abandoned by much of his party after claiming that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” “I am not a quitter,” Akin told Mike Huckabee. But Akin was a no-show on Piers Morgan Tonight, prompting Morgan to address an empty chair instead of Akin and call him a “gutless little twerp.”
The Missouri Senate hopeful’s misogynist claptrap about ‘legitimate rape’ and pregnancy—which has GOP leaders scrambling to denounce him—has been circulating among abortion opponents for years. Kirsten Powers on his Kinsley gaffe.
“Rape is rape.”
Yep, it’s 2012 and the president of the United States had to explain this, since apparently there are still some people who don’t get it. Referring to Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s claim that victims of “legitimate rape” very rarely get pregnant, Obama told the White House press corps, “The idea that we should be parsing, and qualifying, and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about, doesn’t make sense to the American people.”
In this Feb. 18 file photo, Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, R-Missouri, waves to the crowd while introduced at a senate candidate forum during a Republican conference in Kansas City, Mo. The two losing candidates in the Republican primary for Missouri's U.S. Senate seat are getting renewed attention after Akin's comments about rape on Aug. 19. (Orlin Wagner / AP Photo)
Akin now says he “misspoke” when he was explaining his opposition to abortion in cases of rape by telling a Missouri television reporter, “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” The secret is out: the female body is magic.
Really, Akin didn’t “misspeak” at all. He made a Kinsley gaffe: he said publicly what he really thinks, without realizing that Americans have access to biology textbooks.
So where did Akin learn this misogynist claptrap? It’s junk science that has been circulating in the anti-abortion rights movement for some time. In a 1999 essay titled “Rape Pregnancies Are Rare,” National Right to Life president John Willke urged abortion opponents to make distinctions between different kinds of rape. He argued that the physical trauma of rape made it close to impossible to get pregnant.
The Centers for Disease Control says that more than 32,000 pregnancies result from rape every year. That doesn’t really sound like the freak occurrence Willke portrays rapes resulting in pregnancies to be, unless you believe that most of those women are lying, which is the implication in the argument. But what if it was true that pregnancies from rape almost never happened? Late-term abortions are relatively rare, but that doesn’t stop abortion rights opponents from talking about them, nor should it.
Now, I reject the idea that people who oppose abortion rights are “anti-woman,” as the media drumbeat these days would have it. Most abortion rights opponents just don’t think you should end the life of an unborn human being. It’s pretty straightforward. Then there are the Todd Akins and his ilk.
In a new campaign ad released in Missouri, Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin tried to repair the seemingly irreparable comments he made on Sunday involving 'legitimate rape.'
From Paul Ryan’s ‘forcible rape’ head-scratcher to a Yale frat’s ‘no means yes’ rally, more shocking examples of male ignorance.
Todd Akin has a history of extreme statements. Watch his five most memorable.