Todd Akin drew unanimous criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike for his comments that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” usually don’t get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
But instead of forgiving and forgetting, members of Akin’s own party are starting to call on him to drop out of his Senate race in Missouri, Think Progress reported.
He was disavowed by the Mitt Romney campaign, which noted that he and running mate Paul Ryan support abortion rights for rape victims.
The denouncements kept coming from there, with many conservatives afraid that Akin’s comments could be handing a victory to opponent Claire McCaskill.
Many Democrats felt relief when Tea Party favorite Todd Akin won the Republican nomination, giving the vulnerable McCaskill a chance at re-election. Akin’s comments that abortion should be banned in all cases and that pregnancy is not a legitimate fear may have turned those odds even greater, This Week reported.
John Podhoretz of Commentary thinks the comments might make it nearly impossible for the GOP to pick up the four Senate seats it needs to gain control of the chamber.
Oh my God. Well, there go Republican hopes for Senate control. 2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/todd-a…
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) August 19, 2012
Melinda Henneberger of The Washington Post also think the comments will sink Akin, saying:
“If Akin doesn’t get out of the race, he’s likely to wind up like Claytie Williams, whose 1990 remark comparing bad weather to rape (‘If it’s inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it’)” lost him the Texas gubernatorial race to Democrat Ann Richards.”
Other conservatives have joined in the Akin criticism, like John McCormack, a staff writer at Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard. He tweeted:
Todd Akin ought to step the heck down.
— Reihan Salam (@reihan) August 19, 2012
Todd Akin has said he misspoke, but hasn’t made any comment yet on his future in the race.