With basically the entire GOP, including Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, scrambling to distance themselves from Todd Akin’s indefensible comments, will the Congressman drop out of the Senate race? This is the question that’s on everyone’s minds as more and more public figures (including Republican senators like Scott Brown and John Cornyn) call for Akin’s resignation.
If you haven’t been following the news today, you may be wondering what it is the Congressman could have said that would turn most of a nation against him. When asked whether he felt that women who had been raped should have legal access to an abortion in an interview with KTVI-TV yesterday, Akin dropped the following gem:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
After the world did this in unison,
Akin (who, by the way, sits on the House Science and Technology Committee) released the following non-apology:
“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 … 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.”
We were not amused.
His comments were quickly condemned by everyone from journalists to President Obama to Mitt Romney, causing many to speculate that he would be dropping out of the race. Akin, however, says that he has no plans to do so. Although that doesn’t mean he won’t be shamed out by those who don’t want the Republican party to lose that seat, or for the public to figure out how closely Akin’s message mirrors their own.
“I’m not a quitter,” said the Congressman today. But that doesn’t change the fact that Akin said something legitimately stupid, and political parties have ways to shut that whole thing down.