Akin Ignores Party Deadline to Quit
Republican Representative Todd Akin announced that he will not quit his senatorial candidacy in Missouri even if his party leaders, including Mitt Romney, told him to give it up. He said that he believes in the defense of the unborn and has a deep respect for life.
Akin was barraged with criticisms when he stated in a television interview Sunday that in instances of legitimate rape, women’s bodies can block unwanted pregnancy. He decided not to heed the calls of his party leaders and remain in the race against Claire McCaskill, who is the incumbent Democratic Senator. His decision came the same day the Republican Party’s platform committee gave its support to a constitutional ban on abortion that doesn’t include exception for rape.
The GOP has less than a week before it gathers in Tampa, Florida to formally nominate Romney as its presidential candidate. At present, the campaign has switched to social issues, which the party wanted to avoid.
For several months Romney struggled to stay focused on the economy as he tried to narrow the gap between him and President Obama when it comes to women voters. But recent events placed Akin in the national spotlight and have set back Romney’s efforts.
The Akin standoff has increased concerns among Republicans that they could not get the majority of the Senate. It also showed the differences within the party between the party leaders in Washington, who are trying to court Democrats and independents concerned about the struggling economy, and the activists, who are motivated by core conservative values.
Republican leaders as well as former Republican senators from Missouri called on Akin to quit from the senatorial race but Akin rallied support from grassroots voters, who he said would give him the victory. Party leaders are adamant that Akin must leave the race. Romney appealed to Missourians to urge Akin to step aside and exit the Senate race.