Missouri Senate candidate opens mouth, inserts foot, and chews it off

Posted by: Phineas on August 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

**Posted by Phineas

I used to have Missouri in my “sure pick up” category; the Democrat incumbent, Claire McCaskill, is so bad that a mannequin could probably beat her.

Unfortunately, Missouri did not nominate a mannequin:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare,” [Todd] Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin added: “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Akin issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying he misspoke.

I understand what Congressman Akin means by “legitimate rape” — as opposed to false claims. (I have no statistics on how often that happens, though.) And I commend his concern for the new life and sympathize with the idea that it shouldn’t suffer punishment for the crime of another. I get that.

But that comment about “female biology” is just weird, and there’s a disturbing implication that women who do get pregnant may not have been “legitimately” raped.

The McCaskill campaign is already in full outrage mode, and you can bet they’ll play this for all it’s worth. Akin’s already issued a “clarification,” but the damage is done. He’s handed them a hammer to beat him senseless every day until election day. Some Republicans are already calling for him to withdraw and be replaced.

I don’t know enough to say one way or the other with certitude. Maybe he can recover, but my gut feeling is that Todd Akin’s candidacy is toast. This is just too emotional an issue, and a lot of voters won’t be interested in “what he really meant” explanations. I imagine the Missouri Republican Party is looking into the rules on replacement candidates even now.

Maybe Sarah Palin’s pick, Sarah Steeleman, wasn’t so bad a choice after all.

RELATED: More from Twitchy — online lynch mobs are out in full force, calling for Mr. Akin to be raped. More “new tone” I guess. At Legal Insurrection, Professor Jacobson bemoans the Republicans’ knee-jerk willingness to form a firing squad.

via JWF

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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13 Responses to “Missouri Senate candidate opens mouth, inserts foot, and chews it off”


  1. Lorica says:

    Why do these buffoons open their mouths… /shakes head at the idiocy. Why do these guys give the other side the fuel for the fire?? – Lorica

  2. Xrlq says:

    He should withdraw immediately. There’s no way he can win now. Staying in the race will accomplish one thing and one thing only: dragging down every other moderately vulnerable Republican in the nation, from Romney/Ryan on down.

  3. Co2insanity says:

    Is this guy related to Biden?

  4. This is the very type of candidate the GOP does not need. He would be more useful to the commiecrats as a speech writer for Biden, where his single-digit IQ and lack of political skill will be duly appreciated and applauded.

  5. EBL says:

    I would caution not overreacting. He screwed up but he clarified. Professor Jacobson is correct in his advice.

  6. DemNoMore says:

    This is exactly how Democrat Mark Pryor became a U. S. Senator from Arkansas. The Republican candidate (this was a race for an open seat), was as nice a person as you could ever hope to have in a race and was actually a reasonably good candidate other than making an almost identical statement about abortion and rape victims. A liberal reporter who was present immediately began portraying the Republican candidate as a heartless woman-hater who had no compassion for rape victims. The rest is history; and speaking of history can Republicans not learn from their own mistakes and not repeat them? What the hell do these obnoxious political consultants do if not prepare their candidate for trap questions like this one, and prevent them from mouthing such inanities, especially when it has had such disastrous results not that long ago in a neighboring state. Note of trivia: the (now deceased) Republican candidate was the brother of the Republican candidate who unseated Democratic Senator Blanch Lincoln.

  7. Great White Rat says:


    I would caution not overreacting. He screwed up but he clarified.

    On this one, I have to disagree and stand with Phineas. I think he’s fatally damaged his campaign.

    It’s one thing when you have the kind of nonsense that emerged last week, when some GOP D.C. insiders took cheap shots at Paul Ryan. Or when the Democrats twist something a candidate says to make it appear to be the opposite of what was actually said. In those cases, I fully agree that we need to stand together.

    But when a candidate plainly shoots himself in the foot, you know the lamestream media will replay it daily from now until Election Day, not to mention what the Democrats will do in their ads. And in that case it’s not unwise to be critical of our own.

    Now you instinctively know it when a candidate says something that’s just toxic. Obama’s “You didn’t build that”. Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” ad. Almost any time Joe Biden opens his mouth.

    And Akin’s comment was Biden-level stupid. Even if he explains it repeatedly, a lot of voters, especially women, will retain a certain amount of apprehension about him, even if they don’t say so openly, and those uncomfortable feelings have a tendency to assert themselves when those people close the curtain on the voting booth.

  8. Carlos says:

    Duly nominated for the “Slo Joe Gaffe of the Week” award, outdoing even the gaffe master himself.

    Not sure which is more politically stupid, Slo Joe’s “back in chains” gaffe or this yo-yo’s blurt, but to the public it will be Akin who pays the bigger price because the LSM has the veep’s back, and the “faux rage” left is in full-armor mode.

  9. Its not the first time I’ve heard someone make that claim, based upon a mistaken notion of how human biology works. I first heard it from a woman giving a college retreat some 25 years ago — and the response to it was quite remarkable. The pastor of the church sponsoring the event stood up, stopped the presenter, and took issue with the claim. When she stood firm, the pastor’s wife stood up and announced that she knew from personal experience that the presenter was wrong, having been the victim of a rape at knifepoint ten weeks before she and our pastor were to be married — and that they married two weeks after she was confirmed to be pregnant as a result of that rape (and that they raised the child born of that rape as if he were the pastor’s son). Needless to say, none of us accepted the presenter’s argument — but I’ve often wondered how many of my peers would have accepted it if the couple had not given their personal testimony to the contrary.

    I’m therefore willing to give Akin the benefit of the doubt that he was sincerely mistaken in his belief — and recognize his apology to be one that is heartfelt and sincere now that he has learned he is wrong.

  10. Carlos says:

    Back in the dark ages when I was growing up, misinformation was rampant about sexual activity. It was only after a year in college and studying actual physiology of sexual activity did I learn when a woman could become pregnant, what activities were best for both partners, etc., and learned just how lucky I had been not to have gotten a or some girls pregnant.

    Obviously, this nut needs to read some texts from an era written after the 1400s. His “knowledge” not only makes him look foolish, but can be dangerous as well.

    And most of all he needs to stop reading from the “Joe Biden Book of Political Astuteness.”

  11. Kate says:

    I can only imagine how non plused one would be if they were stumping the state and then someone asks this type of question…for an inexperienced person, this type of blunder might be inevitable based on their own knowledge of the questions asked and the sincerity of their belief. I have heard the line said that abortion of a baby concieved by rape is like punishing the baby for what the rapist did. It is possible that what he meant to say. So I, for one, would give him a break some of what he said.

  12. Carlos says:

    For such a question, the answer to the troll asking it should have been:

    “You know, if that occurred in an Islamic state the woman would be stoned to death for adultery. Thank God our legal system punishes the perpetrator, not the victim.”

    At that point the discussion turns to a very uncomfortable subject for the questioner, a subject that needs to be in the public discussion. And the csndidate should be quick enough on his feet to not let the subject get back to the original question.

  13. MoxieLouise says:

    I voted for this tool and I’m so mad I could spit fire. I couldn’t decide between him and Steelman, and the day before the election I heard somebody complaining that he was “too conservative”, so that decided it for me. Little did I know he was also nuts. I called my congressman today and ranted; he said there is a possibility he will leave. It may be too late, though. And the next one in line is John Brunner, who apparently has problems handling money. Just what we need.