A Todd Akin defense

TAMPA--The head of the Family Research Council's political action committee Monday said the group supports Rep. Todd Akin "fully and completely" and urged fellow Republicans to find "backbone" to support the embattled Missouri Senate candidate.

Akin, under fire for comments indicating that pregnancies rarely result from "legitimate rape", is now the victim of "gotcha" politics, said Connie Mackey, who heads up the political action committee of the conservative organization.

"He has been elected five times in that community in Missouri. They know who Todd Akin is. We know who Todd Akin is. We’ve worked with him up on the Hill. He’s a defender of life. He’s a defender of families and this is just a controversy built up, I think, it looks as though, to support his opposition," she said. "We support him fully and completely."

Mackey spoke at a news conference at the meeting of the Republican Platform Committee here, alongside the group's president Tony Perkins. Perkins said he had not looked closely at Akin's comments, but supported Mackey's position. She said she is not taking a position on the accuracy of Akin's comment, only his worth as a Republican candidate.

"I don’t know anything about the science or the legal implications of his statement. I do know politics, and I know gotcha politics when I see it," she said.

But Perkins also warned Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), who has publicly called for Akin to exit the Missouri race. "He should be careful because based on some of his statements there may be some call for him to get out of his race," Perkins said.

Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post.

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