Republicans condemn Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ comments

With Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) refusing to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, more and more Republicans are hinting (or outright arguing) that he should quit.

Akin faces Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), a top Republican target, but his remarks about "legitimate rape"  have left the party looking for a better candidate. GOP groups are pulling money from the state and leadership is encouraging Akin to think about his options.

Mitt Romney:

“Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong. Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.) issued this statement:

“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."

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who earlier called on Akin to apologize, now says he should drop out:

"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."

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.):

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

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):

"Congressman Akin’s comments were totally inexcusable.  What he said is just flat wrong in addition to being wildly offensive to any victim of sexual abuse.  Although Representative Akin has apologized, I believe he should take time with his family to consider whether this statement will prevent him from effectively representing our party in this critical election."

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.):

"Todd Akin's comments were unquestionably inappropriate and absurd. He should not be the standard bearer for the Republican Party in Missouri."

New Mexico Republican Senate candidate Heather Wilson:

“As a woman and a mother, I found Representative Akin's comments this weekend to be sickening and deeply offensive.  There is no such thing as ‘legitimate rape.’  His remarks undermine his ability to command the respect necessary for leadership and he should step aside.”

Florida Republican Senate candidate Connie Mack:

"Like Joe Biden's comments last week, I find Todd Akin's comments made Sunday to be just as outrageous and offensive," Mack said. "Such insulting and offensive remarks from Joe Biden and Todd Akin have no place in our political discourse."

Mike Murphy, a former adviser to both Mitt Romney and John McCain:

National Review editorial board:

"People who make such remarks on television are typically capable of making more like them, or rather incapable of exercising the judgment to refrain. We suspect that this same lack of judgment will cause Akin to blow past tomorrow evening’s deadline for him to leave the race and allow the Republicans to select a better nominee. We hope the congressman, who surely wants to see a Senate with as much conservative strength as possible next year, will prove us wrong."

Washington Examiner columnist Philip Klein:

"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."

Steve Lombardo, strategist who worked on Romney's 2008 campaign:

Richard Grenell, who briefly worked on Romney's foreign policy team:

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Senate candidate:

“As a pro-life conservative, a husband, and a father of two young women, I find Representative Akin's remarks to be offensive and reprehensible. There is no such thing as a 'legitimate rape.' I condemn Representative Akin’s statements in the strongest possible terms.”

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Senate candidate:

I oppose abortion, but exceptions must be made for rape, incest and to protect life of the mother. Cong. Akin’s comment was wrong. #azsen

— Jeff Flake (@FlakeforSenate) August 20, 2012

Former senator George Allen, Senate candidate:

"While Congressman Akin may have addressed his statement, like many men and women I strongly disapprove of his original comments — and the sentiments behind them."

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.):

"As a woman, mother, and grandmother, I'm disappointed by Todd Akin's uninformed and offensive comments. What he said has absolutely no place in public discourse."

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Natalie Jennings | August 20, 2012