Akin's Rape Comment Could Cost GOP
Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin got into trouble, after making controversial remarks about rape related pregnancy. Even fellow Republicans called for him to drop out. Akin brushed off the Romney-Ryan camp and decided this was his race to win in Missouri, and he had to be in it to win it.
"It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really where, 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, you know I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be for the rapist, " explained Akin
That's how the trouble started. Akin is locked in a hotly-contested Senate race in Missouri with incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.
Leaders on both sides of the political aisle, immediately condemned Akin's words.
"Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing, qualifying, slicing what types of rape you're talking about, doesn't make sense to the American people," condemned Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney was equally vitriolic in his comment. "His comments about rape were deeply offensive. And I can't defend what he said, I can't defend him."
Many political observers think Akin's situation could impact races around the country, especially with female voters. That's why Mitt Romney said this about Akin bowing out of his race.
"Well, the thing that he should consider is what's in the best interest of the things he believes most deeply, what will help the country at this critical time."
Rooney’s running mate Paul Ryan even called his friend from Congress and urged him to quit. But Akin resisted and offered this apology instead.
"Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As a father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them. The fact is rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness."
But the damage may have already been done. First in the state of Missouri.
Thomas Mann, from the Brookings Institution opines, "This is the seat Republicans thought they had the best chance of turning Republican from Democrat. It's a state that's been trending Republican, though long a swing state, it seemed to be in the bag for the Republicans."
Now that may change and impact the national conversation, as the women's rights versus right-to-life debate takes center stage. And both sides smell an opportunity.
John weingart, a political analyst at Rutgers university explains, "There are people in both parties who feel this is a war, and you can't give an inch and cant compromise. any argument is worth making if it can stick.”
Akin's comment cones at a tough time for Republicans in general and Mitt Romney specifically. He trails President Obama by double-digit numbers when it comes to support from female voters. This ugly situation out of Missouri won't help those numbers. Republicans really don't like this distraction and how it's become a talker in this campaign.
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