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Rep. Todd Akin On Hot Seat Over 'Legitimate Rape' Comment in FOX2 Interview

In the interview with Charles Jaco, the Senate candidate said "legitimate rape" would not cause pregnancy. Late Sunday night, the Romney-Ryan campaign weighed in.

Comments by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin suggesting that "legitimate rape" would not cause a woman to get pregant have raced like wildfire around the Internet and put the U.S. Senate candidate on his heels.

Akin, the Wildwood Republican, is running for the Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill. In an interview with Patch news partner FOX2 that aired on Sunday with Charles Jaco, Akin was explaining his position against abortion even in cases of rape.

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy) is really rare” in rape cases, Akin told Jaco. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Reaction was lightning fast. The Twitter hashtag "#legitimaterape" was the top trending topic on the social network, along with "Akin," at 6:30 on Sunday night. Facebook news feeds were filling up with reaction.

Akin issued a statement later in the afternoon saying it was clear he "misspoke" on the topic, but providing no support for the assertion that any sort of rape provides a medical barrier to pregnancy.

His comment about legitimate rape "does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year," Akin said in the statement on his website. "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," he continued "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."

Late Sunday night, Talking Points Memo reported that Mitt Romney's Presidential campaign did not support Akin's comments and that "A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."

Conservative commentators such as St. Louis native Dana Loesch noted today that this is a gaffe over a social issue that will distract voters from more urgent economic issues, in their belief.

Akin acknowledges the assertion of "legitimate rape" was a gaffe in his statement. Is that enough to put the issue aside? Are we too fixated on the mistakes candidates make when they're out on the campaign trail? Or, as one Twitter user said, does "misspoke" really mean, "I accidentally said what I really believe"?

Devon Seddon August 23, 2012 at 08:53 PM
This topic has moved away from Akin. That's for sure. I can't say I did it, but thank you (also sarcastic), but I'm a big-picture guy. A lot of these issues are tied together. The IDEA of Federal stability is a nice one, but it's activities since the 70's in education hasn't made things better, if anything, worse & more costly. Their activities not only include telling schools what can be put on the walls, but what can be said & what goes into, or is taken out of textbooks. They are responsible for REMOVING very important science from those books. (Ex: Nikola Tesla - Thousands of inventions that we still use today, as well as FREE, CLEAN & ABUNDANT energy provided by the Earth, and you can barely find him in textbooks. How could that happen? Why would they do that? Green - in all it's meanings - that's why.) See, anything the Fed gets involved in is eventually up for-sale on the lobby floor. We have to take more OUT of their hands, NOT put more in. This is also the land of freedom, in my mind that would include, if I can clearly see that IL, NY, & CA are all screwed-up & broke, and I don't want to live there anymore, then I should have the option to move to a state where things are done more to my liking. Instead, people push today to make all of our states like those (or at least the same). I believe that takes away options & freedoms, and ceases to provide them. Sorry about the caps, I know how you love them.
Elizabeth August 23, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Mr. Braudis, you misinterpret my post, please reread it; particularly the part where I wrote "In RD's world". I wholeheartedly support the 1st amendment and your right to speak your mind and have whatever opinion you like, but please remember as a comic book once read "with great power, comes great responsibility". You don't do yourself or your ideology any favors when you rush to respond without considering context. I mean that in only the most helpful way. Comprehension and context, very valuable tools. And my name is Elizabeth, not "Lizzy" if you don't mind.
RDBet August 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Whoa. Willy seems like an overplayed caricature, someone posing as beyond ultra-conservative to make all conservatives look bad. Though it's hard to distinquish. With friends like those....
Robert E August 27, 2012 at 07:53 PM
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