Akin Refuses To Quit Race Despite Backlash From Own Party
Akin said that "legitimate rape" rarely results in pregnancy, but later posted on his Facebook page that he “misspoke.” During a Monday appearance on Mike Huckabee’s radio show, Akin said he is “not a quitter” and that he hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.
“The good people of Missouri nominated me, and I’m not a quitter,” Akin told Huckabee. “My belief is we’re going to take this thing forward. And, by the grace of God, we’re going to win this race. To quote my old friend John Paul Jones: ‘I’ve not yet begun to fight.’”
Akin’s own party seems to be keeping its distance from him, as Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) have both called for the 65-year-old to withdraw from the race. Akin must drop out of his contest by Tuesday in order for the GOP to place another candidate into the race before November elections.
The Romney-Ryan campaign has also condemned Akin’s remarks, issuing a statement Sunday night that it supported abortion in the event of rape. The national GOP informed Akin on Monday that it would not spend money to help him win election in Missouri, according to the Washington Post.
More from the Washington Post:
But Democrats are trying to link his comments to the Republican brand more broadly, potentially damaging the GOP’s chances with independents and women.
Obama’s campaign also took to the airwaves to link Akin to GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Congressman Akin’s comments were both appalling and offensive. And the broader debate that the Republican Party’s been having over women’s issues, it sounds like something we would have heard 50 years ago,” Ben LaBolt, press secretary for the Obama campaign, said in an interview on MSNBC. “There’s a policy dimension to this issue.”
Questions have risen over whether Akin’s refusal to bow out of the race could hurt his party’s chances of recapturing majority control of the Senate in November, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Akin had been leading McCaskill — arguably the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate — by an average of five points, but the incumbent could have a better shot of holding onto her seat after the controversial remarks.
Texas Senator John Cornyn, who is in charge of the GOP’s Senate election effort, said Akin should “carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service."
Democrats control the Senate, 53-47, but must defend 23 seats in November, while Republicans are defending just 10.
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