Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin seems to have permanently derailed his campaign with this inane performance during an interview broadcast Sunday on KTVI-TV in St. Louis.
Answering a question about abortion in the case of rape, Akin said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.” Akin later backtracked on that statement, but the damage was done.
Republicans raced to distance themselves from Akin, with more and more calling for him to step aside. The pressure from Republicans is sure to increase as tomorrow is the deadline for his name to easily be replaced on the November ballot. A GOP aide told the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin that Akin is on his own. Akin was told he “gets no assistance, no money, no surrogate” by party officials.
The one person who wants him to stay in the race is his opponent Sen. Claire McCaskill. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as McCaskill’s millions are responsible for Akin winning at three-way runoff election in August.
Bankrolling Akin’s primary victory wasn’t enough, she’s now added concern troll to her resume. Here’s what she told Huffington Post today:
WASHINGTON — Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) warned top Republican officials on Monday that any efforts to push Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) out of the Senate race against her, following his galling remarks about “legitimate” rape victims not getting pregnant, would backfire.
“I think for Washington party insiders to come in and try to invalidate the votes of Missourians would be radical,” McCaskill said in a phone interview with The Huffington Post. “I think that would be a very radical thing to have happen, and I can’t imagine how the Republican primary voters would think about that in Missouri.”
“I think there would be a significant backlash,” she added. “I’m not sure that would have a good ending for the Republican Party.”
How thoughtful of the sitting duck Senator to be so concerned about the feelings of Missouri Republicans…
McCaskill wants Akin in the race, even though she trails him in the polls because based on a comparison to past mid-campaign scandals, she stands an excellent chance of overcoming Akin’s current advantage.
Take away Akin and his “legitimate rape” controversy and McCaskill will lose her best chance to defend the seat she was almost certain to lose last week. That’s a call for the folks in Missouri, but either businessman John Brunner or former state treasurer Sarah Steelman would stand an excellent chance to unseat McCaskill.
Tuesday ought to be very interesting in this fast-moving story…