Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin appeared on a local St. Louis television show (below) and discussed his thoughts on abortion, even in the instance of rape or incest, which accounts for less than 1% of abortions received. (More.)
Progressive backlash from Roman Polanski fans and deniers of Occupy rapes was immediate.
Akin responded with a statement:
"As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.
"I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.
"But I also believe that this election is about a wide-range of very important issues, starting with the economy and the type of country we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. We've had 42 straight months of unacceptably high unemployment, trillion dollar deficits, and Democratic leaders in Washington who are focused on growing government, instead of jobs. That is my primary focus in this campaign and while there are those who want to distract from that, knowing they cannot defend the Democrats' failed economic record of the last four years, that will continue to be my focus in the months ahead."
Akin is a pro-life candidate thus leans towards life when discussion abortion. It's not shocking knowledge to Missourians who selected him as the GOP nominee for senate and lean towards him in the latest polling. Democrats want to make social issues the focus on the campaign as opposed to the economy, where they're losing, and Akin's interview gave them them the momentary opportunity they needed to shift attention away from the lagging economy.
Was Akin's "misspeech" ridiculous? Of course. Is it worse than the misdeeds of his opponent, Claire McCaskill, who rubber-stamps Obama's war on Missouri coal jobs and tripled our deficit? Not by conservative standards, or any real standard of measurement.
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