As Republicans continue to pile on Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) for saying victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant, Mike Huckabee has strengthened his support for the embattled Senate candidate. Huckabee first gave Akin the opportunity to defend the remark on his radio show, which he did by explaining that women often lie about being raped. Huckabee also approvingly read a defense of Akin by junk scientist Dr. John Wilke, though he conceded that some “extraordinary” people were born out of rape.
To make his support for Akin crystal clear, Huckabee sent a letter to his supporters Thursday accusing the GOP establishment of trying to bully Akin out of the race for an honest mistake:
The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren’t rational, left [Akin] behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound. In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican. Not for a moral failure or corruption or a criminal act, but for a misstatement which he contritely and utterly repudiated. I was shocked by GOP leaders and elected officials who rushed so quickly to end the political life of a candidate over a mistaken comment in an interview. This was a serious mistake, but it was blown out of proportion not by the left, but by Akin’s own Republican Party. Is this what the party really thinks of principled pro-life advocates? Do we forgive and forget the verbal gaffes of Republicans who are “conveniently pro-life” for political advantage, but crucify one who truly believes that every life is sacred?
Huckabee also claims the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched an organized crusade to get Akin out of the race, ordering political consultants to stay away and rallying clergy to encourage Akin to drop out. While Huckabee does not specify which “conveniently pro-life” Republicans he is referring to, he does astutely call out the political posturing of the many Republicans who have disavowed Akin even though they support his policy positions.
Akin, meanwhile, says he has raised more than $100,000 online after his comments. Though Huckabee is now putting himself at odds with the party establishment by defending Akin, he will be speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Monday.