Leading social conservatives rally to Akin's defense
August 20th, 2012
02:22 PM ET
2 years ago

Leading social conservatives rally to Akin's defense

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – While much of the Republican universe spent Monday condemning Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin for his comments about "legitimate rape" and abortion, one of the nation's most prominent conservative organizations rallied to his defense.

Two top officials from the Family Research Council said the Missouri congressman is the target of a Democratic smear campaign and chided those Republicans who have condemned Akin.

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Connie Mackey, who heads the group's political action committee, said the group "strongly supports" Todd Akin.

"We feel this is a case of gotcha politics," Mackey told reporters in Tampa, where the Republican National Committee was gathering ahead of the party's convention next week. "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."

"Todd Akin is getting a really bad break here," she added. "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."

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins fired back at Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a leading moderate voice in the GOP who called Akin's remarks "outrageous" and encouraged him to drop his challenge to Democrat Claire McCaskill.

"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 of Brown. "He has been off the reservation on a number of Republican issues, conservative issues I should say. His support among conservatives is very shallow."

Mackey said that Republicans calling on Akin to apologize or drop out should get "backbone."

Perkins and Mackey, though, pulled their punches when asked about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has also denounced Akin.

"The Romney campaign as well as now Paul Ryan have made very clear where they stand in the issue of life," Perkins said. "We are not going to allow people to divide conservative voters in this process. We are going to keep our eye on the big picture."

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Filed under: Abortion • Tony Perkins
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "We are going to keep our eye on the big picture.""

    Which is to say, "we're going to stay focused on reducing women back to chattel."

    August 20, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Okay, I can understand wanting to support one of your own. It really makes you wonder what they consider "legitimate rape." I can't understand what they are talking about. Nonconsensual intercourse of any kind is considered rape I believe. How would it not be?

    August 20, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. ghostriter

    Hilarious. Repubs can't even get their outrage right. We our outraged that Scott Brown denounced Akin, but Romney....well....they just disagree.

    August 20, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Obama/Biden - We Wanna Put Government Chains on Y'ALL

    He apologized. End of story. The people of Missouri will decide who they want.

    August 20, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Rosslaw

    It takes a brave sole to stand up for rape. Good for Tony Perkins. Next, the Republican stand on child molesting and why it's good for the child.

    August 20, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Bill

    Tony Perkins is a twit and mindless idealogue. What a disgrace.

    August 20, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. MS

    This is the same group so many of you were quick to defend just last week from charges that they're a hate group. I offer this story as evidence to the contrary.

    August 20, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    Social conservatives seemingly exist only to try and defend the indefensible. Best nugget from the article:
    Mackey said that Republicans calling on Akin to apologize or drop out should get "backbone."

    Too fuuny, the GOTP ticket leader is the incredible spineless wonder, Willard. Hypocrisy and irony rage on in the modern GOTP!!!

    August 20, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. James

    Sorry no, I am a Republican, and a Missourian, and what Mr. Akin said was just completely asinine. the Family Research Counsel rallying to his defense cause he is pro life shows they are flagrantly ignoring how ignorant the statement is in terms of medical and forensic science, let alone psychological consideration for the hypothetical victim

    August 20, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. john vance

    Great, the FRC supported him. The KKK in the 1920's though lynchings were hunky-dory.

    August 20, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    You would think Mr. Perkins will be keeping a low profile after the events of last week. Anyway, if conservative values are damnation against gays, absolute no tolerance for abortions and whatever religious fanatical beliefs they have, how can they be for freedom? You always hear them use the phrase "we don't like big government." Government intrusion in decisions regarding a woman's health is BIG GOVERNMENT.

    August 20, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. V

    How can this be a "gotcha" moment when Akin said the words himself. He wasn't asked a leading question, he was making a (as pitiful as it was) statement of fact – in his mind. Obviously, the man is an idiot and hasn't got a clue what he is talking about. But to try and somehow blame this on the Democrats is crazier than the statement itself.

    I guess when you've desperate you just throw everything against the wall and hope something sticks. Not this time guys – you didn't even come close to the wall on this one . . .

    August 20, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. incredulous

    How is this "gotcha politics?" No one forced this idiot to say what he did.

    August 20, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. cogboy

    oh no he did not say, "off the reservation" about brown, who is in a race with a presumed native american! lol! i don't buy any of these "legitimate" and "illegitimate" rape theories coming out of the gop. but if they want to put forward the idea of self-inflicted rape, campaign 2012 certainly looks like irrefutable proof!

    August 20, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Kenny K

    @Obama/Biden – We Wanna Put Government Chains on Y'ALL

    He apologized. End of story. The people of Missouri will decide who they want.
    ____________________________________________
    That cannot be the end of story because the man has already stamped his view on US Congress' minds by sponsoring "personhood".

    August 20, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Perkins and anyone else coming to the defense of Akins are simply revealing their true colors when it comes to the "values" they support.

    August 20, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Jonathan

    A smear campaign? No one was out to get him. He said it plain and simple so now he has to won it.

    August 20, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. ST

    I can't understand why these GOPs are going ballistic. Do they think what Todd Akin has said is OK? If that is the case, then soon we will hear putting all women back into "Chastity belts" is fine with them!

    August 20, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. jane

    These hypocrites are no more Christians or Christ-Like than the mud from the ground

    August 20, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Tony Perkins' mouth is actually stuck in that position in the photo above. Let's hear some guess as to why....

    August 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. Kenny K

    tony Perkin shows that he has double standard when it comes to his principles.

    August 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. bankkiller1

    I am guessing he is a war profiteer too. Wants to end public schools? Wants toll roads? Is very well funded by the corporations? Yep!

    August 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. once upon a horse

    the are a few sexual crimes that could occur that would be impossible to lead to one becoming pregnant. Perhaps THAT is what Akin meant. It just disgust me that you would have ANYBODY standing up for this comment. And the nonsense about he "apologized end of story" since when has a Republican let anyone else's apology end something. If a Democrat had said this he could get on his knees and apologize and the far right would not let it die so don't even GO THERE with the end of story crap!

    August 20, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Patriot Awesome

    "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."

    Ok, the first sentence is what's one major thing wrong with Ultra conservative Republicans. They don't know ANYTHING about science. The second sentence is another thing that's wrong with them. How is reporting verbatim what your politicians say "gotcha politics"?

    August 20, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Misogyny and male chauvinism is the platform of the republican party. Mr. Akin should be the keynote speaker at the republican convention.

    August 20, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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