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Five Things Everyone Should Know About GOP Senate Candidate Todd Akin

By Zack Beauchamp on August 8, 2012 at 8:41 am

"Five Things Everyone Should Know About GOP Senate Candidate Todd Akin"

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Rep. Todd Akin, R-MO.

On Tuesday night, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) wrapped up his state’s Republican Senate nomination, defeating two other Tea Party Republicans in a race that split the GOP’s hard right faction. Akin’s highest profile backers were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), which should be no surprise — Akin has a long history of taking inflammatory, extremist positions, particularly with respect to religion and equal rights for gays and lesbians:

1. Akin believes Medicare is unconstitutional. In a set of remarks that also questioned the validity of climate science, Akin asserted that providing healthcare for the elderly is unconstitutional, saying “I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care.” He also called for a repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows voters, rather than their state legislatures, to choose who will represent them in the Senate.

2. Akin said that “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.” Akin once claimed, after an NBC broadcast accidentally omitted “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, that the network intentionally took it out as part of a “systematic effort to try to separate our faith and God” because “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.” Despite a strong backlash from religious leaders, Akin refused to apologize and doubled down on his remarks.

3. Akin is one of the most anti-gay GOP members of the House. According to a ThinkProgress analysis, Akin is one of the seven leading sponsors of anti-gay legislation in Congress, which perhaps follows from his belief that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.” Akin has focused on gay members of the military, pushing legislation that would protect soldiers who chose to harass and bully their LGBT colleagues. He also attempted to block funding for the military unless the Defense of Marriage Act was used to block marriage equality on military bases.

4. Akin called recent legislation streamlining the student loan process a “state three cancer of socialism.” During the debt ceiling negotiations in 2010, Akin referred to President Obama as “a flaming socialist,” presumably because his massive concessions to GOP priorities weren’t quite massive enough for Akin’s tastes. He has also suggested that recent legislation streamlining the student loan process has contributed to America’s “stage three cancer of socialism.”

5. Akin wants the United States to withdraw from the UN. He advocated for full withdrawal from the international organization during a recent bus tour, according to a report by Chesterfield Patch.

Akin will face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November. Polling suggests he currently has a small lead.

Update

Akin also thinks the Department of Education, EPA and the Department of Energy should be eliminated.

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