Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP Senate candidate in Missouri, set off a firestorm today after claiming that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” don’t usually become pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Now, several conservative writers have started calling for Akin to withdraw from his Senate race:
One of the first was Reihan Salam, a prominent author at the conservative flagship National Review:
Todd Akin ought to step the heck down.
— Reihan Salam (@reihan) August 19, 2012
John McCormack, a staff writer at Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard, also called on Akin to step down:
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) August 19, 2012
GOP political strategist Patrick Ruffini noted that former Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) withdrew from his reelection campaign after a scandal:
I think we may have a Torricelli situation here.
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) August 19, 2012
Given his long history of political extremism, Akin’s views have long been out of step with the American political mainstream.
Mike Murphy, a senior GOP political consultant who has advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain, called on Akin to withdraw this morning:
Akin should put good of GOP first and resign nomination now after his idiotic comment. Senate control too important.
— mike murphy (@murphymike) August 20, 2012
Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) has joined the chorus, saying “”As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.”
Adam Hasner, a GOP Congressional candidate in Florida’s 22nd district, agrees:
As does former Romney spokesman Ric Grennell:
Todd Akin should be replaced with a candidate that can win. It’s time. Missouri GOP must act quickly.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 20, 2012
Washington Examiner columnist Phillip Klein penned a sharply worded call for Akin to withdraw, saying “Anybody capable of making a statement as simultaneously offensive and moronic as Akin’s is likely to make more such statements. That means, even if Akin wins, he’s likely to embarrass his party for six years and undermine the pro-life cause…If Akin drops out of the race by tomorrow, the Missouri GOP could still pick another candidate. Akin has caused enough damage already. He should do the right thing and step aside and make room for somebody else while there’s still time.”
Ron Johnson, GOP Senator from Wisconsin:
Todd Akin’s statements are reprehensible and inexcusable. He should step aside today for the good of the nation.
— Ron Johnson (@Ron4Senate) August 20, 2012
Former Rep. Heather Wilson, Republican Senate candidate in New Mexico:
Heather Wilson on Akin: “His remarks undermine his ability to command the respect necessary for leadership and he should step aside.”
— Alex Burns (@aburnspolitico) August 20, 2012
Conservative columnist and television host S.E. Cupp said “Akin’s comments were disturbing, reckless and, yes, disqualifying for a candidate running for Senate…the damage to Akin at least is already done. He should quit the campaign and Republicans should resign themselves to losing Missouri and focus their resources on other campaigns to help win the Senate.”
RNC Chairman Reince Preibus told KMOX radio in St. Louis that “I’ve ordered…I’ve told them to take Congressman Akin off the script today…He’s got to think long and hard about this. If it was me, I would definitely end my run for senate…I would do the right thing and step aside.”