Akin Stays In Despite GOP Pressure

Despite being browbeaten by both the leader of the Republican Party and Mitt Romney, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., steadfastly refused to withdraw from his campaign to oust Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Akin, who has been under fire since claiming that women who suffer “legitimate” rape can’t get pregnant, reiterated that he would remain in the race. He also passed a 5 P.M. deadline to withdraw unilaterally.

“Let me make it absolutely clear,” Akin told radio host Mike Huckabee. “We’re going to continue with this race for the U.S. Senate.” Akin continued, “I believe the defense of the unborn and a deep respect for life…they are not things to run away from.”

Akin defied calls to withdraw from Rush Limbaugh, who called Akin’s comments “stupid,” and Romney, who called the comments “offensive and wrong.” Instead, Akin put up a misspelled ad on his web page asking voters to “Tell McCaskill That Your’re Standing With Akin,” and featuring a prominent photo of a human fetus.

Threat to National Campaign

The level of pressure on Akin to withdraw was a clear sign that Republicans see a danger in Akin’s comments that extend beyond Missouri, and perhaps beyond even control of the Senate. As Care2 Causes’ Jessica Pieklo reported, Akin’s stated position on abortion is exactly the same as the Republican Party’s platform. Akin also teamed up with GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, which would have limited federal abortion funding to cases of  ”forcible rape.” The law would have barred funding for abortion services in cases of statutory rape, and may have barred funding of abortion services for women who were raped through coercion or drugging.

Akin’s statement also threatened to re-open discussion of the Republican “war on women,” which has already been damaging to the Romney campaign (not to mention women). In a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Romney trailed President Barack Obama among women by a 10-point margin.

The calls for Akin to withdraw also threatened to alienate anti-abortion activists. Anti-abortion groups have stayed staunchly behind Akin.

“Congressman Akin, a longtime pro-life leader, has said he had misspoken, and no one is arguing that rape is anything but a despicable, horrible crime,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. “We are proud to support Congressman Akin.”

Tony Perkins, the leader of the extreme-right-wing Family Research Council, also warned that efforts to remove Akin from the ticket could strain the religious right’s relationship with the GOP. Those ties are already weakened by the general disaffection with Romney, who is a recent convert to the right-wing.

Limbaugh, Romney, Others Blast Akin

Republicans put on a full-court press in order to try to push Akin out of the race. Limbaugh led the way, taking to the airwaves to call Akin to quit. While Limbaugh said Akin “has not got a war on women going on,” he nevertheless called on Akin to quit for the good of the party.

“Todd Akin has got to realize that whatever he thinks, is the number one thing he should fight for here above all — and above anything that’s personal to any one person — is saving this country. And that means winning the Senate and winning the election against Obama.”

Romney, who had previously criticized Akin’s statement, followed soon after Limbaugh. In a statement, Romney said, “Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.”

Romney was referring to a meeting between Akin and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., as well as former Missouri Senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent.

One Deadline Down, One to Go

Republicans are unlikely to let up the pressure, at least in the short term. While Akin missed the deadline to withdraw from the race unilaterally, he still can withdraw during the next five weeks, provided he can get a court order allowing him to. After September 25, however, Akin cannot withdraw from the race under any circumstances.

Whether Akin will withdraw between now and November could have a wide-ranging impact on the country, but it may come down to whether the GOP can find an incentive for Akin to do so. Akin cannot run for re-election to the House, and the GOP outrage has effectively ended his political career. His only hope of staying in politics is to defeat McCaskill, and win a seat in the Senate. Unless the Republican Party can offer Akin something better than a chance at the Senate, he may well stay in no matter how many talk show hosts, presidential candidates, and former senators ask him to quit.

Related Stories

GOP Rep. Akin: Women Can’t Get Pregnant by ‘Legitimate’ Rape

Rep. Akin “Misspoke” About Legitimate Rape, GOP in a Panic

GOP Will Adopt Constitutional Abortion Ban In Party Platform

Image Credit: Akin Campaign


Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

Les G. You have it ass backwards, as usual for a troll. All the trash and burn comments are from the hypocritical Republican tea party anti-woman party. Democrats are mostly sitting back and letting Akin try removing both feet from his mouth. That will be difficult as he fervently believes what he said and so does his partner in stupidity Paul Ryan.

L X5 years ago

There is very little difference between the life envisioned for women in America by Ryan and Akin, and the life envisioned for women by, for instance, the Saudi government.

Lynn Squance
Lynn Squance5 years ago

You can get pregnant in a car.
You can get pregnant in a bar.
You can get pregnant on a hill.
You can get pregnant on the pill.
You can get pregnant near or far
It doesn’t matter who you are.

You can get pregnant in a house.
You can get pregnant by a louse.
You can get pregnant here or there.
You can get pregnant anywhere.
In a plane or on a train,
In a box or with a fox.
Standing up or sitting down,
It matters not when sperm’s around.

You can get pregnant if you are raped
Science truths you can’t escape.
I do not like the awful lies
That hurt the ones whom it implies
Can control their own conception
By “legitimate rape” sperm detection.

You should not lead our sacred land
If anti-science is your plan.
I do not like what you are sayin’,
I do not like it, Mr. Akin.
~ Christy Caine


Something that 'Nameless' posted on another site. Quite good really.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

This man needs to get a job in the private sector away from media and he needs a muzzle too.

Armand F.
Armand F5 years ago

It is becoming more and more clear that it will be up to the clear-thinking voters in Wisconsin to ensure that this misogynist never gets into the Senate. He is far too dangerous to be left in any elected position. He needs to be sent back to a private life where his idiotic thoughts are of no danger to anyone else.

Kimberly Simms
Kimberly S5 years ago

What a mess. How does someone this ignorant get this far? I find it hard to believe that this is the first stupid thing he's said in his political career. He needs to go. Now.

Carl O.
Carl O5 years ago

Way to go Todd. A word of advice better to remain silent and be thought a fool than too open your mouth insert both feet and make the case. Thanks for handing the election over to Claire McCaskill. Just what the Senate needs another woman senator to help fight against the Republican Party's War on Women. Your limitless ignorance will benefit women everywhere.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

Akin is being thrown under the bus by his own party the tea party Republicans. Look up Republicans against Akin. They are against him (not what he believes) because normal people know what he said is flat out crazy...things like that could lose an election. The tea party who are dissing him now actually believe what he says. The people I have heard say Akin should get out of the race includes their boss Limbaugh, Palin, Hannity, McCain, Brown, McConnell, Boehner, and many more hypocrites.

I don't know what Democrats you have heard say he should get out of the race. He should stay in, helps the Democrats. They have said it was obnoxious and

Daniel D.
Daniel D5 years ago

@Sharon R.: Both sides may be headed to extremes, but the GOP are the ones who are putting those extremes into their actual policy. Akin is getting lynched in liberal-leaning press because they are sexist, incredibly offensive, just flat out *wrong*, and coming from someone who wants to be allowed to actually make and enact laws, and he's getting lynched in the conservative-leaning press because he's making the side look bad while being embarrassingly close to the party's actual position (remember the "forcible rape" bill from - what was it, 2010, 2011? Key supporters included both Akin and Paul Ryan).

Admittedly not quite as bad as said violent shooter. I could've sworn I saw an article about that on here somewhere, actually, but with the way the archives on this site work good luck finding it. In any case, it's not really surprising that it's been downplayed - no one's ever claimed that this site was neutral, though ignoring it completely would be a little extreme even for care2.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

There have been so many shootings, mass killings, and people murdered with guns. It was one nut case who shot at someone but did not kill him along with a dozen other innocent people. So of course it wasn't a big story, although we did hear about it on the news. The tragic thing is people are killed EVERY day in this country by handguns. That is the outrage.

President Obama reached out to the Republicans in the beginning, we all know that they didn't reach back. We all remember the "one term president" No! "hell no" "we will destroy him" "make him a one term president" so, no they decided at the beginning that they would never work with him. Even had a meeting about it.

Akins comments were ignorant, stupid, and totally against women's rights. This was not a misspeak it has been his mind set for years. Akin and Paul Ryan co-sponsored many bills that stated "No abortions ever, no exceptions even in cases of rape and incest. Used the words FORCED RAPE! Any person who thinks that and/or uses that language is way too stupid to be in the Congress or the Presidency.