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

**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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