Todd Akin compares himself to Joseph McCarthy


Todd Akin. (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

Former congressman Todd Akin (R-Mo.) compared himself to late senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) in an interview published Tuesday.

Akin likened his derailed 2012 Senate campaign to the fall of McCarthy, who was condemned in the 1950s after raising allegations of communist infiltration in the United States.

“I use McCarthy as an example of someone who was assassinated by the media, so he had no credibility,” Akin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, explaining his belief that he was politically assassinated by “intentional and dishonest” distortions of what he said about rape and pregnancy.

Akin's Senate campaign was derailed when he argued in an interview with a local TV station that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy. He's back in the news these days with the release of a new book.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," said Akin in 2012, adding, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” He later apologized in a TV commercial. But in his book, Akin writes that he regrets his apology.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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Sean Sullivan · July 15, 2014

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