Aborted Campaign: Missouri GOP Senatorial Candidate Says ‘Legitimate Rape” Rarely Causes Pregnancies

Rep. Todd Akin had no sooner won Missouri’s GOP Senate primary this month than he seemed eager to hand over the election to incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Akin instantly became a national sensation with a shocking statement about how “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy.

When confronted on his view regarding exceptions to a ban on abortions, Akin proceeded to show how to abort a Senate campaign in record time: “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. 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 on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

First there is the distinction between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” rape that is too twisted to contemplate. Then there is Akin’s rather bizarre view of the female body and the existence of some type of kill switch in cases of rape within every woman.

Akin is a six-term U.S. congressman who probably could have drifted to a win in Missouri. Polls showed him a heavy favorite against McCaskill who is unpopular with many in Missouri as well as Washington. Akin, 65, was backed by former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and supported by many in the Tea Party. Akin was able to secure 36 percent of the vote against businessman John G. Brunner with 30 percent and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman with 29 percent. Steelman was the favorite of Sarah Palin and many in the Tea Party. Despite the tough primary, Akin was leading McCaskill in the polls.

That changed in a flash and he succeeded in moving a state from an expected win for the GOP into the doubtful column — assuming he does not withdraw from the race. Both Romney and Ryan have publicly criticized the comment. McCaskill appears to relish the thought of becoming the second most unpopular candidate in a two-person race. She has refused to call for Akin to step down and said that it would be a radical step to replace a candidate who just won the primary. Republicans however have lined up to condemn the statements and call for Akin to withdraw from the race.

Akin’s attempt to walk back from the comments was almost as awkward — claiming that he “misspoke” about rape. Here is the statement:

“As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.

“I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.”

Akin does not address the medical side of the comment or even explain what he meant about legitimate rape.

“Misspoke” is a remarkably flexible term to cover any statement where, according to Merriam-Webster, you can claim that you “expressed (oneself) imperfectly or incorrectly.” Of course, there remains the cause for such misspeak. It is one thing to get a date wrong or a country wrong or even a description of some past event. Here however Akin drew a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate rape and then proceeded to offer a medical claim that is almost medieval in character.

Here is the clip showing the “misspeech”:

Given the polarized situation in Missouri, this does not necessarily mean that McCaskill will win. However, with the GOP already struggling with the female vote, this is comment is likely to be played back in an endless loop. The question is the degree of pressure from the Romney campaign to get Akin to step aside given the possible drag on the ticket in November.

Source: CNN

192 thoughts on “Aborted Campaign: Missouri GOP Senatorial Candidate Says ‘Legitimate Rape” Rarely Causes Pregnancies”

  1. can;t find the post i anted but Romney used to be prochoice: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/23/1123430/-How-the-newly-pro-life-Romney-betrayed-a-dear-close-family-relative
    “I have my own beliefs, and those beliefs are very dear to me. One of them is that I do not impose my beliefs on other people. Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.”

  2. OH MY GOD!!!! That is the funniest thing I have seen in AGES!!!!! hahahaha….

    I am so glad I had swallowed my tea by the end of this video…. It would have ruined my computer….

  3. Legitimate Rape by the Renegade Raging Grannies (warning: NSFW and do not try to watch with your mouth full)

  4. Gyges:

    Job made out all right in the end. And it just goes to show that only Satan is after your money. πŸ™‚

  5. Bron,

    Not really, The priests were corrupt, and at the time eternal life was a special treat. Most people just died and that was the end.

    Plus, look what he did to Job on a dare.

  6. Gyges:

    Sounds like God was giving a better deal plus He throws in eternal life as a bonus.

  7. Bron,

    Actually, God was being a Theocrat. The King was going to replace rule by the priests.

  8. has anyone mentioned that God is apparently a libertarian?

    “10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, β€œThis is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day. ””

  9. “YES! !!!!!! Thank you,”

    No problem, it’s in this two volume anthology that my Dad had that somehow got mixed in with my books when I moved out years ago (unfortunately, his omnibus version of “Cities in Flight” didn’t suffer the same fate, it took me years to find a copy). It’s one of the best anthologies I’ve come across (if you’re looking for a good recent one, both Vandermeers put out great anthologies, but Ann’s are phenomenal). Also in there are: “The Stars My Destination,” The Gunshops of Isher,” “Waldo,” “The Man who Sold the Moon,” “The [Widget], the [Wadget] and [Boff],” and a several other equally good ones that I’m forgetting.

  10. Here is an article by columnist Kevin Horrigan in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch:Now that the bigfeet in the national political media have discovered Todd Akin, longtime Akinmaniacs are bereft.

    For nearly a quarter of a century, we had him mostly to ourselves. He was that little barbecue joint that nobody else had discovered. He was a secret fishing hole we didn’t have to share. We never knew what he would say next, but whatever it was, we knew that there was a good chance it would be ridiculous.

    There was never anything as outrageous as the magical women-don’t-often-get pregnant during “legitimate rape” claim that now has him in hot water. But if he started talking about Sunday blue laws or the evils of sex education or the dangers of the state licenses for day-care centers or any of the other social issues that came before the Missouri Legislature in the 1990s, Todd would safely go off the deep end and only the Akinmaniacs would notice.

    He was kept pretty well bottled-up during his 12 years in the Missouri House. In those days, Democrats still controlled the House and moderation wasn’t yet a sin within the GOP. Todd’s views were so extreme that most mainstream Republicans rolled their eyes when he got up to talk.

    He didn’t care. He was a man on a mission.

    Todd had come to politics after working briefly for IBM and then for Laclede Steel, founded by his great-grandfather in 1911. In 1984, he’d attended divinity school, emerging with the idea that God had a special plan for the United States and that he was supposed to be part of it.

    In 2000, when Republican Jim Talent decided to run for governor, people giggled when Akin filed for Talent’s 2nd Congressional District seat. Four other Republicans wanted it, none of them wacky.

    Then it rained. Some of Todd’s supporters saw the hand of God at work.

    More than three-quarters of an inch of rain fell on primary day, Aug. 8, 2000. Turnout was 17 percent; only 57,621 people voted in the GOP congressional primary. Akin got 26 percent of the vote, beating former St. Louis County Executive Gene McNary, the runner-up, by 56 votes.

    Akin knew something that none of the other candidates had yet figured out. West St. Louis County and St. Charles County had become chock-a-block with evangelical churches, many of whose congregants were home-schoolers. Todd and Lulli Akin home-schooled their six kids. Lulli Akin was a home-school activist and organizer. Home-schoolers had a network. Home-schoolers were not afraid of a little rain.

    The 2nd District was β€” and still is β€” solidly Republican, so Todd won the general election by 14 points over Democratic state Sen. Ted House of St. Charles. Off he went to Washington. He brought home earmarks. He voted to raise the debt ceiling. He voted for off-budget wars. He voted to expand Medicare to include prescription drugs.

    Todd’s big issue was the Pledge of Allegiance. The only bill he ever passed was the Protect the Pledge Act, which in its various incarnations would have (a) made darned sure nobody ever took the phrase “under God” out of it and (b) forbade any court from mucking around with the pledge. The House eventually passed it. The Senate didn’t.

    Akin did diligent work on the Armed Services Committee, where seniority eventually brought him chairmanship of a Navy subcommittee. Todd was an Army veteran, but he liked the Navy. Three of his sons had attended the Naval Academy β€” home schooling worked! β€” and become Marine officers. And because all Missouri politicians pledge allegiance to Boeing, he especially liked aircraft carriers because St. Louis-built F/A-18 Super Hornets fly off their decks.

    It was on social issues that Todd really shined. He voted against the school lunch program. He voted against the school breakfast program. He called the morning-after pill a “form of abortion.” He voted against funding autism research (evil vaccines!). He voted against the minimum wage. He called student loans “a stage-three cancer of socialism.” He questioned the need for the Voting Rights Act. He said “the heart of liberalism is really a hatred for God.”

    From time to time, somebody in the national press would notice him, but the voters in the 2nd District returned him to office time and again. Meanwhile, the rest of the Republican Party was moving his way on social issues and Akin was moving their way on spending issues. So when he announced he would run for the Senate, nobody blinked an eye.

    God help us, Todd Akin had become the norm.

    The secret spilled Sunday, when KTVI-Channel 2 aired the interview during which he’d unburdened himself to the estimable C.D. Jaco on the subject of rape and pregnancy. Jaco, a confirmed Akinmaniac, didn’t press him on the issue, admitting that after years of interviewing Akin, he might have been “inoculated to odd things that might have been said.”

    But Democrats pounced, followed by nervous Republicans. The U.S. Senate is a lot bigger deal than the Missouri House. Now every pundit in America has discovered our little barbecue joint. Rats.


    Well, do any of you remember Roseann, Roseann O’Dana on Saturday Night Live, going back about 25 years: “Helloooo Todd!”

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