Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, set off a national uproar and likely ended his poltical career with his comments comments about rape and abortion over the weekend when he said pregancy from “legitimate rape” was rare and that women’s body have a natural way of “shutting that whole thing down,” during an interview on a St. Louis Fox afflilate wherein he was asked about his views on abortion in the case of rape.
“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” said Akin said of pregnancy caused by rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”
Akin issued an apology of sorts on facebook later in the day on Sunday and told Mike Huckabee on the radio that he should have said “forcible rape.”
President Barack Obama called Akin’s comments offensive during his press conference this afternoon.
GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney distanced himself from Akin, calling the congressman’s remarks “insulting, inexcusable and frankly wrong,” according to the Washington Post.
Governor Chris Christie called Akin’s comments “asinine” and “ridiculous” during his press conference in Asbury Park this afternoon, according to Poltickernj.
In a press release, New Jersey GOP Senate nominee Joe Kyrillos took his criticism of Akin one step further than his fellow Republicans by addressing the congressman’s views on abortion :
“Like many I am outraged by Representative Todd Akin’s remarks regarding pregnancy and ‘legitimate rape’ – they have no place in our public discourse. But beyond my concern for our national public discourse, I am saddened and disappointed as a husband and a father to a 10 year old daughter. Not only are Representative Akin’s comments about a horrific act of violence wrong and inappropriate, he and I disagree on the issue of abortion, generally.”
Neither Kyrillos nor his campaign have responded to requests for a clarification on what he means by his “general” disagreement with Akin over abortion.
U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is suggestting that Akin withdrawl his Senate candidacy by the 5pm Tuesday deadline, according to the LA Times.