Is Todd Akin going to drop out? Update: Tea Party group says Akin should drop out

posted at 4:01 pm on August 20, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

His Twitter feed says no:

The tide is rising against him after offensive and erroneous comments on rape and the female body threw his campaign into the national spotlight and high-profile turmoil this weekend.

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post reports that she talked to a GOP aide who said, if he stays in the race, he “gets no assistance, no money, no surrogates.”

Ann Coulter tweets:

Crossroads GPS has yanked its ads:

Another ominous sign for embattled Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin: the heavyweight conservative groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are pulling out of the state and halting their advertising against Akin’s opponent, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“The act speaks for itself,” Crossroads spokesman Nate Hodson said Monday.

Sen. Scott Brown has called on Akin to withdraw from the race. (Correction: I was unable to find my original sourcing for Sen. Olympia Snowe’s position on Akin, so I’m removing it until I can track down that story. Sorry about that!)

Sen. John Cornyn’s statement sounds like a suggestion. Cornyn is head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

“Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible. I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next twenty-four hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”

Phil Klein notes that the GOP in Missouri would be better off picking another candidate, and still has time to do so:

Politically, a lot of the analysis as to whether Akin should drop out of the race has focused on whether he could still recover from this horrendous statement and win. A more important question is what kind of senator Republicans would be getting if he could hang on and they could gain a majority in the Senate. 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.

Missouri Republicans have other choices. Both Sarah Steelman and John Brunner led troubled Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in polls taken during the GOP primary, and both were closer to the Tea Party than Akin (Steelman was endorsed by Sarah Palin). 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.

I’m with Phil on this. This kind of statement is the last thing Republicans need when they’re already forced to fend off false allegations of misogyny and insensitivity over contraception and “women’s issues.” High-profile instances of real insensitivity do damage to the Republican brand and conservative causes alike. Yes, Akin is paying a higher price for this gaffe than he would another because it plays into an established narrative the Left and the media favor, but we have to ask ourselves whether we want someone representing us who is prone to such boneheaded pronouncements. It sounded as if he’s never thought through his pro-life stance before. There are plenty of ways to communicate his position on this issue without saying what he did. If, as the Weekly Standard suggests, social issues do matter in this election, do you want Akin as your side’s spokesperson? I will stipulate, however, that the fact this is getting more coverage than the shooting at Family Research Council will ever get is a sin.

On the other hand, Matt Lewis argues that national coverage of this gaffe might not be as damaging in Missouri as coverage of Sen. George Allen’s “macaca” moment was Virginia in 2006:

Larry Sabato notes that is a national story, and indeed it is. But a national story probably hurts much less in Missouri than it did in Virginia. When the Washington Post relentlessly covered “macaca” during the fall of 2006, those national stories were read by thousands of voters in population-heavy Northern Virginia (which also shares the Washington, DC TV media market). My guess is the national impact won’t matter quite as much in Missouri. It’s also worth noting that Allen’s gaffe also occurred in 2006, a very bad Republican year. What is more — unlike this year — there was no presidential race to overshadow it (it’s unclear whether or not that factor will help or hurt Akin, as Democrats will try to tie him to the ticket.)

In any event, while it is unclear whether or not Akin can survive, the “macaca” analogy is probably flawed.

Update: Statutorily speaking, Akin has 24 hours:

Missouri state law allows a nominated candidate to withdraw his or her bid for office by 5 p.m. on the 11th Tuesday before the election which, as it turns out, is tomorrow. If Akin does drop his bid before tomorrow’s deadline, the state’s GOP central committee would pick his replacement.

This statutory fact alone is why Republicans — from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) — are coalescing around a 24-hour ultimatum.

Update: Former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent weighs in:

Former Missouri Senator Jim Talent said he will not run against Sen. Claire McCaskill, even if Rep. Todd Akin exits the key Senate race.

“No, I’m not running for the Senate,” Talent told reporters attending the Republican platform committee in Tampa, where he serves as a delegate from Missouri.

There’s some wiggle room in that formulation, and he calls Cornyn’s comments “very appropriate.”

Update: Tea Party Express says Akin should hit the road. Your mileage may vary on how much Tea Party Express is a stand-in for actual grassroots Tea Party sentiment, but interesting:

“One of the lessons we learned in 2010 is that we need candidates who are not only conservative, but are capable of putting together a strong campaign against liberal opponents,” Amy Kremer, the group’s chairwoman, said in a statement. Kremer followed Connie Mack’s lead in comparing Akin’s comments to ones made by Vice President Joe Biden last week: “Akin’s frequent ‘Bidenisms’ are distracting from the important issues at hand.”

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What Akin was referring to vis-or-vis female biology is not made up. I learned about it in passing in high school. It would more accurately be stated that female sexual pleasure increases the chances of pregnancy – (not the converse, as Akin claimed).

The fact remains, however

1) He vastly overstated the potency and significance of a biological phenomenon
2) of the opposite gender
3) that very few people know anything about
4) that sounds very creepy
5) especially coming from a staunch Pro Life advocate
6) to nakedly advance a political football
7) that doesn’t sound like a good justification for banning abortion even after rape if you didn’t already support that
8) and, in fact, is logically not a good justification, being a non sequitur to the issue of whether women who do become pregnant by rape should have a right to abort a pregnancy.

He’s got to go.

HitNRun on August 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Ah, Todd, we hardly knew ye. So sad to see you go.

Now f€ck off you ridiculous twat.

Social conservatives … f€ck yeah! Team America, f€ck yeah! I really want those dickwad religious twats in control. I really do.

Good-bye, Todd. It’s been a blast. Now … go away

JackieB on August 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Hahaha! All y’all turncoats running yer mouths condemning Akin when you should be rallying around him–Mark Levin just called y’all COWARDS! Levin telling it like it is. Thank God!

So happy that there are some pro-life conservatives that prefer to stand for right instead of caving before the Leftists!

TXJenny on August 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Yeah, I wait until 5 pm to hear what Mark Levin has to say about something before I say anything on a subject. I gotta get his take first before bending, I mean, moving forward. He can call me Penny as long as he tells me what to say and think, I mean Jenny, right Jenny?
Akin is a ignorant azz. You cannot defend that.

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Did he withdraw yet?

sherry on August 20, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Levin says Akin needs to step aside.

http://www.therightscoop.com/mark-levin-calls-on-akin-to-step-aside-slams-democrats-for-devastating-hypocrisy/

wargamer6 on August 20, 2012 at 6:56 PM

You listening to the same Mark Levin Show as TXJenny? She’s claiming he’s voting for him.

Marcus on August 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Did he withdraw yet?

sherry on August 20, 2012 at 6:58 PM

He will tomorrow.

davidk on August 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

So you believe life begins at implantation and not conception. The window between the two can be as long as a week. A lot of “purists” don’t.
LOVE Dr. Krauthammer. “He’s an idiot, he’s toxic, he’s gone. Next subject?”

Marcus on August 20, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Thanks. This was the point I was trying to make.

a capella on August 20, 2012 at 7:04 PM

He will tomorrow.

davidk on August 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Thanks. Good news.

sherry on August 20, 2012 at 7:05 PM

All you wonderful Leftists jumping on a misstatement of a Conservative even if it means that a horrible Democrat will stay in office.

FactsofLife on August 20, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Bill Clinton is an accused rapist. Bill Clinton was hand-selected by barack obama to introduce him at the democrat convention. What say you President “rape is rape”? Are you distinguishing here between “legitimate” rape and…um…the other kind?

Rational Thought on August 20, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Why did you guys move tesla over to the other thread?

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Why did you guys move tesla over to the other thread?

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:13 PM

…why don’t you follow him with your dripping chin?
…bring your kneepads!

KOOLAID2 on August 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM

@RovesChins

I’ve been all over so-called conservative blogs (including HA) since yesterday late afternoon trying to convince folks that they are wrong to condemn Akin. It was great that Dana Loesch of breitbart.com stood up for right when so many others willingly fell into the Leftists’ trap. I was exceedingly relieved this evening to hear Mark Levin also stick up for Akin.

Just now Levin called the bloggers who have condemned Akin exactly what they are: chihuahuas. Keep barking, little dogs. I hope you like the taste of humble pie.

TXJenny on August 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM

^^ TrueCon nutter. I fully expect her to call my a stupid “rino” or a liberal now.

wargamer6 on August 20, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Levin understands that Akin is a good man, principled, and solidly pro-life. Unfortunately, so-called pro-life Republican turncoats–COWARDS–who have managed to make a mountain out of this mole hill have inflicted so much damage that Akin may no longer have a chance at winning. It’s sad to see how Republicans have mishandled this situation.

It is dishonest the way so-called conservative bloggers have pulled his quotes out of context and have put words in Akin’s mouth that he never said. If we lose this seat, it won’t be merely because of Akin’s poor choice of words…it will be because so-called conservative bloggers are so afraid of the Left’s charge that Republicans are waging a war on women that they joined the Left in their spin of Akin’s flub.

Even if Akin steps down, the chance that any Republican wins this seat now is probably pretty remote.

TXJenny on August 20, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Why did you guys move tesla over to the other thread?

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:13 PM

…why don’t you follow him with your dripping chin?
…bring your kneepads!

KOOLAID2 on August 20, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Who crawled up your butt?

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:49 PM

@RovesChins

I’ve been all over so-called conservative blogs (including HA) since yesterday late afternoon trying to convince folks that they are wrong to condemn Akin. It was great that Dana Loesch of breitbart.com stood up for right when so many others willingly fell into the Leftists’ trap. I was exceedingly relieved this evening to hear Mark Levin also stick up for Akin.

Just now Levin called the bloggers who have condemned Akin exactly what they are: chihuahuas. Keep barking, little dogs. I hope you like the taste of humble pie.

TXJenny on August 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Keep nuttin it honey.

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Keep nuttin it honey.

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM

She’s one of the more rabid ones we’ve had on here for a while. Seems spoiling for a fight, but, no one deems her significant enough to respond. She just keeps repeating the same old crap, over and over. Tiresome.

a capella on August 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Keep nuttin it honey.

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:50 PM

She’s one of the more rabid ones we’ve had on here for a while. Seems spoiling for a fight, but, no one deems her significant enough to respond. She just keeps repeating the same old crap, over and over. Tiresome.

a capella on August 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM

She’s a Levin Zombie. Can’t think for herself, evidently.
Oh well, I usually agree with Levin.

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Just now Levin called the bloggers who have condemned Akin exactly what they are: chihuahuas. Keep barking, little dogs. I hope you like the taste of humble pie.

TXJenny on August 20, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Goodness gracious. Listen to yourself. You might not realize it, but you appear unhinged and strident.

I’m about as prolife as you can get. I think aborting a child who is the result of rape creates a second victim. That said: Akin is a moron and deadweight. That he has thoughts like this rattling around in his head looking for an exit is disturbing. To be a senator, one should be in control of one’s mouth. What else half-cooked is up next?

hoosiermama on August 20, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Last I heard, Akin is still digging in his heels.

It’s all about him. The country be dam*ed.

hachiban on August 20, 2012 at 8:12 PM

The Missouri Republican has another option. It’s called endorsing the Libertarian Party candidate. The Libertarian Party has a ballot line, and a credible candidate. He’s a young guy. Kind of Rand Paulish.

Anyone remember the Tom DeLay fiasco in 2006? DeLay resigned too late to appoint a replacement. There was a Libertarian on the ballot, local Houston hero, Bob Smither. But the GOP was too stubborn to back him, so they stupidly rant a write-in candidate instead. We lost that seat for 2 years to the Democrats.

Let’s not make that mistake again.

ericdondero on August 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Who crawled up your butt?

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:49 PM

…you!… when everyone ignored it time after time after time after time…. (it needs help and usually goes away)…you had to respond and encourage it…I like you normally!
(I love your handle too!)

KOOLAID2 on August 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Who crawled up your butt?

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 7:49 PM

…you!… when everyone ignored it time after time after time after time…. (it needs help and usually goes away)…you had to respond and encourage it…I like you normally!
(I love your handle too!)

KOOLAID2 on August 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM

You rat turd, I wasn’t the only one and those people correcting Sheila’s gaffes were comedy gold,right there, mate.
We’re cool?

RovesChins on August 20, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Am I being too hopeful that because he bagged on Morgan’s show that’s a sign he’s decided to quit the race?

The Count on August 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I do not hate Allen but his campaign had other problems in 2006.

The Obama Campaign says dumping Akin is another sign of hate and divisiveness among the right. / sarc

IlikedAUH2O on August 20, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Words have weight.

kingsjester on August 21, 2012 at 6:39 AM

C’mon Hot Air!

As I just pulled up your site, 11 of the 35 articles on the page referred to Todd Akin — OVER 30%!

I doubt that if Israel had bombed Iran this morning you would have had this much coverage.

Give us a break. The guy made an idiotic statement. BIG DEAL! End of story.

Concerned_American on August 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

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