Romney Says Akin Should Step Down After Rape Controversy

Kim LaCapria - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 8:54 p.m. ET

After repudiating remarks made by embattled Missouri Republican congressman Todd Akin, GOP candidate for the White House Mitt Romney has called on Akin to drop out of the race, a stance one may see as unusually respectful towards women’s rights from the Republican side of the aisle.

Romney’s call comes as today Akin tries to reframe his comments as abortion-centric. One might argue that rape legitimacy and abortion are two vastly separate issues and to tie one up with the other in this context does both serious issues a disservice. But Akin cycled back, saying that a poor choice of wording and not a lack of understanding of the trauma of rape led to his current political ostricization.

Of his remarks, Akin said today:

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“I said one word in one sentence on one day, and everything changed. I believe the defense of the unborn and a deep respect for life. … They are not things to run away from.”

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And indeed, abortion is a hot button issue that affects many segments of society. But one might argue that, instead of calling rape victims into question, the proper response is to speak directly and honestly state beliefs regarding rape and abortion.

Romney was uncharacteristically unambiguous in his assessment of Akin’s remarks, although if analyzed cynically, an argument could be made that he simply does not want to lose Akin’s seat:

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“As I said yesterday, Todd Akin’s comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country. Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.”

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Do you agree with Mitt Romney that Akin should step down, or should the voters in Missouri be able to decide whether the congressman stays?


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