Akin's constituents respond to 'legitimate rape' comments
August 20th, 2012
07:52 PM ET
2 years ago

Akin's constituents respond to 'legitimate rape' comments

St. Charles, Missouri (CNN) - Fresh off the heels of Rep. Todd Akin's controversial comments, his constituents in Missouri's 2nd Congressional District seemed to share mixed feelings on his response and whether they'll be supporting him or not in his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

"I cringed," Beverly Johnson said from the front porch of the store she works at in historic St. Charles.

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Johnson is a Republican who said she has voted for Akin in the past and generally has agreed with him on his stance on abortion. She feels he should have worded it differently, but doesn't feel he needs to consider dropping out-at least not yet.

"Let's let it play out and see what happens," she said.

Jennifer Derfeld identifies as an independent, and said she has voted for him in the past. But in this Senate race, she says, she's been leaning toward McCaskill. His latest comments only solidified her intent.

"[It's] kind of like a slap in the face for any rape victim," she said. "I don't understand where he would come up with that. I mean either you have been raped or you have not been raped. It's not legitimate or illegitimate. It's very condescending."

Gene Wood, however, thinks the media may be making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to Akin's comments. Wood is a Republican who voted for Akin in his U.S. House races and in the recent primary campaign that got him on the ballot opposite McCaskill.

"I think he used a word that in reflection he wouldn't use again, like the word legitimate," Wood said, adding that he probably meant to use the word "forcible."

"This is just a matter of semantics. I think people are looking for something to accuse Todd [of] or drag him down when I don't think he said anything that's really worth all the coverage that it's getting."

Wood sees no reason for Akin to consider dropping out of the race.

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Filed under: 2012 • Missouri • Senate Race • Senate Republicans
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Clayton W Davis

    If the GOP actually manages to be victorious in this Fall's election, it will truly be a moment to reflect on where Americans place their values.

    August 20, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. drake mallard

    These Republicans are exceptional liars. Ryan sponsored any number of bills in the House limiting abortion even if the life of the mother was sacrificed, re-defining rape along with Akins, and the federal personhood bill. These Republicans are throw-backs to the Dark Ages, and do not belong in any public office. They try to bring it all back to the economy, but what these cretins don't understand is that women's health is an economic issue for them and their families. This all out assault on women and their health choices needs to stop now

    "And both Romney and Ryan backed proposals to outlaw abortion ... even in cases of rape and incest

    August 20, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. KDB Mothes

    So the moronic bit about a women's uterus somehow not allowing a pregnancy during a rape doesn't bother them? The idea that he doesn't even have a grasp of basic biology and serves on the science and technology committee doesn't bother them? We don't need a guy this stupid about women's bodies making laws that affect them.

    August 20, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"This is just a matter of semantics. I think people are looking for something to accuse Todd [of] or drag him down ◄
    I did not know who the hell Akin was before now – Wow, what a nice way for him to introduce himself :-(

    ►Wood sees no reason for Akin to consider dropping out of the race.◄
    That's because this person thinks like Akin – what a doggone disgrace

    I love it when Republicans put their foot in their mouth with what they truly believe in but when others call them out and criticize them, they say it's a "smear attack" coming from the left ??? Jeez!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 20, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. george of the jungle

    the republican party keeps voteing for these clowns. The idea that a woman can while being rapped secret something to keep her from getting pregnat is an old wives tale . No one in modern times believes this except the retarded repos . How did he ever get on a committee that handles science or does he knowwhat that is. The fact that paul ryan has worked with this gooff to wriet policy that effects birth control and a womans rights is scary. The president said it all rape is rape and these guys should stay out of a womans business.

    August 20, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. Donkey Party

    Rape is rape, period. Adding "forcible" to is is like saying "illegal theft".

    August 20, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. bcrunner

    Very interesting that some people are defending him... That he just misspoke!! Really?? What is it that he misspoke about? Rape is rape!! No ifs or buts about it!!

    Now we want Congressman Ryan to explain to us the bill that he co-sponsored with Akin that has basically similar language... and does not allow abortion for rape or incest... and also tries to redefine rape...

    August 20, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. Desmond, a Canadian

    Looking at it from a healthy distance, the trouble with the GOP is not Akin by himself but that his convictions are akin to those of so many others in that strange Party. Most just manage not to "blurt it out"

    August 20, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Ex-GOP Con

    ===============
    It's not the choice of words that was offensive. It was what he actually thought occurs during rape that was offensive. To think that a woman's willpower prevents her from getting pregnant from rape almost puts the blame on her for getting pregnant from a vicious attack!
    ===============

    August 20, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Guys like this make me wonder if the Republican Party will ever select an educated candidate. Anyone out there remember the old TV Commercial that started, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV."? Well, I guess if you are a Republican member of Congress running for the Senate, you suddenly acquire the requisite medical knowledge to make a statement like Akin's.

    August 20, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. beau

    I used to be a repub till congress was taken over by the tea party and Romney as our candidate.I cannot support a man who is a draft dodger and a tax evader.The repub congress has done nothing for vets,nothing for the middleclass.All of the good repubs have gone or have been forced out by the extremists that care nothing for the average joe or veterans like myself.Until we get real candidates that care for the middleclass and vets I will not vote for the repubs.Honor and respect,and caring for this nation is what the repubs used to stand for ,now we have wackjobs from the tea party holding america hostage and thats as un patriotic as it gets,it is hurting many americans,our economy and soldiers who are looking for work. Romney is not the answer he is the problem with America with his lies and phony religion...Sorry this voter will stay an ex repub till the party becomes honerable again.

    August 20, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. griffbos

    I think he used a word that in reflection he wouldn't use again, like the word legitimate," Wood said, adding that he probably meant to use the word "forcible."

    sorry but this is equal as bad) though Rpmney himself has used such a statement in his forever moving postion on abortion) since when does one willing get raped?

    August 20, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  13. allenwoll

    Throw THIS guy to the ladies ! ! !

    August 20, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Buddhabill

    Even if he had said 'forcible'...who are the 'doctors' who have said that a woman's body is able to 'shut down' a pregnancy? And where was he going with this? He has no business representing anyone other than his own narrow-minded perspective.

    August 20, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. ssellinger

    ok, let's see...."in cases of forcible rape a woman's body has ways of shutting that whole thing down". nope, sorry mr. Wood, still sounds just as stupid.

    August 20, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. GOP = Greed Over People

    Wow, so we just change "legitimate" to "forcible" and all is right in the rabid Reich world?

    Glad I am not a woman, given this vision the cons have in this "Path to Purity" agenda.

    August 20, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  17. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Hood Out-sourcing-Jobs Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    Let Todd Akin stay in the race....Americans welcome him since he and Paul Ryan share the same belief....and they have co-sponsored bills together that uses exactly the same language about RAPING WOMEN!!!

    It's freedom of speech and that's what they call it in GOP lalaland!!!

    August 20, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  18. Mike

    Even if you let him edit his comment to say "legitimate", the premise of his argument is still repuslive, repugnant, abhorant and ignorant. Of course, these are big words that he is probably too dumb to understand. How fitting that the GOP leadership assigned him to the Science Committee.

    August 20, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  19. Lib

    WOmen need to wake up and have respect for themselves..Anybody voting for this ugly dried up outdated fool is also a fool. What an ugly man who acts ugly.

    August 20, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  20. CaliforniaBC

    What is consistently amazing about this type of thing is that gop voters keep standing up for these guys. This isn't the only time a republican has said or done something like this... showing their true colors. What will it take for people just to abandon the whole party?

    August 20, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess an understanding of biology isn't required to run for office. Knowing the law is sometimes a plus as well. This guy wants to change the law in a way that would make abortion illegal in most ways. That doesn't help anyone.

    August 20, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  22. American People

    Akin is just saying what republicans all think. A true GOP hero.

    August 20, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  23. Larry L

    "Gene Wood, however, thinks the media may be making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to Akin's comments. Wood is a Republican who voted for Akin in his U.S. House races and in the recent primary campaign that got him on the ballot opposite McCaskill.

    "I think he used a word that in reflection he wouldn't use again, like the word legitimate," Wood said, adding that he probably meant to use the word "forcible."

    "This is just a matter of semantics."
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Akins would certainly use another word since this word let people see his real character. Republicans always say they "mispoke". Of course he'd prefer not to look like an ignorant, insensitive, right-wing bigot... But when the shoe fits...

    August 20, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. dabchick

    He & Paul Ryan are birds of a feather!!!

    August 20, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. Cadillacjoe

    Please stay in the race Todd!! You are an early Christmas gift to every Democrat running, and a win wrapped up with a big bow on top for Claire.

    August 20, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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