Republican candidate Todd Akin, whose deep empathy for rape victims and profound understanding of female biology led him to tell a television reporter yesterday that in cases of "legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down" — by "whole thing" he means "pregnancy" — won't be quitting the Missouri Senate race. Even though the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee says he should "carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about."
That's Texas Senator John Cornyn begging Akin to quit (the NRSC apparently won't spend the $5 million it has reserved for Missouri TV ads if Akin stays in the race).
"I'm not a quitter and my belief is we're going to take this thing forward," Akin told Mike Huckabee on Huckabee's radio show. Sounds like a fun interview:
I made that statement in error. Rape is never legitimate. It is an evil act," Akin told former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in a radio interview. "I used the wrong words in the wrong way."
Akin continued: "I don't know I'm the only person in public office that suffered from foot-in-mouth disease here. ...I'm not a quitter." [...]
Akin, a six-term House member, also back tracked on his comments that women can't get pregnant from rape. "I do know that people become pregnant from rape."
You can listen to the whole thing here:
Meanwhile, President Obama made a rare briefing-room appearance and took a question about Akin:
"Let me first say the views expressed were offensive," Obama said. "Rape is rape, and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me." [...] "What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women," Obama said. "So although these particular comments have led Gov. Romney and other Republicans to distance themselves, I think that the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women … or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape are broader issues."
And the terribly-named conservative outside-spending group Crossroads GPS has pulled its ads from the Missouri race. And basically every conservative who isn't Dana Loesch or Bryan Fischer wants Akin to, to be indelicate, try to shut that whole thing down.
One person who would rather Akin stick around? His opponent, Claire McCaskill:
"I really think that for the national party to try to come in here and dictate to the Republican primary voters that they're going to invalidate their decision, that would be pretty radical," McCaskill told MSNBC Monday. "I think there could be a backlash for the Republicans if they did that."
But a source with ties to Akin's political operation tells First Read that the GOP congressman most likely won't quit the contest, saying Akin believes this race is "providential" and even if Akin was ready to get out, his wife would never let him quit. The person with knowledge of Akin's political operation adds: "She makes him seem like the reasonable one."
We would like to know more about Lulli Akin, who makes Todd Akin "seem like the reasonable one"! If you have any stories, leave them in the comments.