PALM BEACH, Fla. – While many top Republicans are urging Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri to exit the race for the U.S. Senate after controversial remarks about rape, the six-term GOP House member is getting some support from the nation’s best-known conservative, Rush Limbaugh.
“When everybody seems to be uttering, voicing, doing the same thing, that’s when I put on the brakes and say, ‘Do I want to join this mob?’” Limbaugh said on his radio show this afternoon, referring to the Republican calls for Akin to quit.
Akin sparked a firestorm with comments Sunday saying pregnancy could be prevented in the case of “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
“That’s just absurd. It’s not intelligent,” Limbaugh said. “On the one hand, here we have a guy in glorious ineptitude attempting to defend every conceived life. … On the other hand we got a political party (the Democratic Party) who’s gonna have a former president actually accused of rape introduce and keynote Barack Obama. And that’s fine. This is why I am hesitant to join the mob that says throw this guy out. We have a circular firing squad.”
Limbaugh was referring to former President Bill Clinton who is slated to play a starring role at the upcoming Democratic convention.
“Their keynote speaker was accused of rape, and they love the guy. He was held in contempt of court. He was disbarred for several years. He has had numerous extramarital affairs. You talk about somebody who has less than a respectful view of women? And this is the keynote at the Democrat National Convention. And the Democrats love the guy.”
Limbaugh suggested what Akin was trying to say was something very simple.
“I don’t think abortion should even happen in rape. That’s what he was trying to say. Let’s just strip away all the other stuff,” Limbaugh explained. “There are a group of pro-lifers who profoundly believe that, and they talk to each other, and they try to come up with ways of persuading other people to agree with them on this. Because their view is, it’s not the baby’s fault.”
While admitting Akin’s remark was “stupid,” Limbaugh noted, “How about the economic policies running this country? They are stupid! They are indefensible, and they are stupid. The economic policies led by this administration, they are indefensible and they are stupid, and they are causing real damage and real harm to real people.”
Despite Limbaugh’s defense of Akin, the radio host seemed to imply Akin should give serious thought to leaving the Senate race.
“We just cannot lose this November,” he said, “and in addition to not losing the presidential race, we must take the Senate. We must hold the House. We must win the White House. These things must happen. There is no question about it. This is what Todd Akin needs to understand. And that’s what he needs to president foremost in his mind. What I think Mr. Akin should try to realize here as he makes his decision is that all of these things that he truly cares about will be much easier to make happen if we win the Senate and the White House and hold the House this November. He must put the nation and its future ahead of everything else that he’s considering. And I hope he comes to the right conclusion.
Akin has also received support from TV star-turned-activist Kirk Cameron.
“He clearly is a pro-life advocate, and for that, I respect him,” Cameron said on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “He said that he misspoke and that he misphrased something and that he apologized.”
“I’m the kind of person that believes that I would like to be evaluated by my entire career and my entire life, not two words that I would misspeak and then later apologize for,” he added. “So he’s in a tough spot.”
Meanwhile, a defiant Akin said today he’ll stay in the Missouri Senate race against Democrat Claire McCaskill.
“Let me just make it clear … that we are not getting out of this race. We are in this race for the long haul and we are going to win it,” he told radio host Dana Loesch.
On Mike Huckabee’s radio program, Akin added, “I said one word in one sentence on one day, and everything changed … I believe the defense of the unborn and a deep respect for life. …They are not things to run away from.”