Leading social conservatives rally to Akin's defense
August 20th, 2012
02:22 PM ET
10 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. California Gary

    Watching the GOPers scrambling for cover is almost comical. It reminds of two things.......one is when you turn on the light and the roaches run for the shadows.......the other was a term we had in the military having to do with a "cluster"....

    August 20, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    How is near-universal condemnation part of a partisan smear campaign? Akin said it in an interview on a FOX outlet: he obviously felt at ease making the comment, so how is objecting to a poorly thought-out comment a smear campaign? Another example of the right claiming they are victims. Pathetic.

    August 20, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. JDinHouston

    Akin didn't walk into a trap, he opened his own mouth and put his foot squarely inside. The FRC should be ashamed, what Akin said was disgusting and deplorable and the Republican senate campaign did the right thing cutting him off.

    August 20, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. California Gary

    Sniffit.......that's harsh dude.......I love it!

    August 20, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. mk1

    Don't forget that Paul Ryan is opposed to abortion in all rape cases too, and probably incest as well. He also has sponsored "personhood" bills which puts Ryan on the very extreme right of the mainstream. A vote for Romney is a vote to move America back to the dark ages where women are nothing more than property to be handled as the males think best. Women, never ever forget that.

    August 20, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. BEAR

    Scott Brown is a Democrat!!!

    August 20, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Wes B.

    Akin and these others are "legitimate" morons.

    August 20, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. cali girl

    Tony Perkins' mouth is actually stuck in that position in the photo above. Let's hear some guess as to why....
    Sniffit, OMG I spit out water all over my keyboard.......

    August 20, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Lisa Meyer

    Sadly, Akin believes his ideological nonsense and that is actually why he needs to excuse himself from the Missouri Senate race. If you saw the actual interview, you would cringe.

    August 20, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. nothing new here

    And who is Tony Perkins to demand that he control the whole idea of "conservatism"?
    Tony Perkins has NO idea what once was the real concept of being a conservative.
    Conservatism stood for limited government and individual liberties, and not all this religious mumbo-jumbo. The theological debates need to stay in the churches and seminaries where they belong.
    Shameful – and this guy that thinks he owns the Republican party should step down from his position as well.

    August 20, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Frank

    "Family Ressearch Council" reveals its true colors. It *IS* a hate group after all, and a pretty stupid one at that.

    "I don't know anything about the science ..." – Connie Mackie. Very true, Connie.

    August 20, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. normajean @ verizon ,com

    'DEMOCRATIC SMEAR?"??????NOW THIS IS TOO MUCH!!!! After this mans nasty, heartless and totally uncalled for dissertation....the fact that many decent people complained makes it a DEMOCRATIC SMEAR??? Well, call it what you disgusting men will....this will not be forgotten in the mad rush to put women down to the lowest level we've seen in a long time....maybe ever.......now try to tell us there isn't a war on women~~~~!!!!Sorry Kenny.....but the apology is hollow and if he were a man of character he wouldn't need to apologize for anything!!

    August 20, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Commentary42

    Well said by Obama this morning: "The views expressed were offensive," said Obama. "Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women."

    August 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. nothing new here

    Thanks, Tony Perkins, for ruining a once great political party.

    Former Republican, now Independent voter with Libertarian values

    August 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Sandy

    Didn't conservatives demand that Weiner resign for only texting photos of himself in underwear? Akin should resign just as Weiner had to do.

    August 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. California Gary

    You and me both cali girl!

    August 20, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Laverne

    Gotcha politics?? No one made this creep say what he said, he said it because it is really what he thinks! Of course he would feel different if it were his wife or daughter who got raped, freakin hypocrite!

    August 20, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. 2012liberal

    Where's the science? Wonder if angus chongs victums would say they didnt bare his kids b cuz of legitamite rape.

    August 20, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Jim Hahn

    Obviously there are some Republicans think that it's a woman's duty to carry and deliver a rapist's baby. This should eliminate all doubt about where the Republican party is headed and how little respect there is for women or how little room there is for dissenting opinion.

    August 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Ivan

    Tony Perkins should pay attention to his own "Wake-up" call.

    August 20, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. ghostriter

    Misleading article. I was hoping some dumb republican politician would try to defend him. Guess they let this loser do it for them.

    August 20, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Pat Zombie

    Well, if he's ever arrested and does time, he might discover there's a very infintesimmaly thin line between legitimate and illegitimate rape. As far as inmates are concerned, "It's all Rape to us! So...bring him on!"

    August 20, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Checkmate

    "Gotcha Politics", kinda like when something is taken out of context, like "you didn't build that". Except this was not taken out of context. He meant what he said, and it's ridiculous. Let's ask Bachmann or Palin what they think, lol.

    August 20, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Nuance

    Of course they (GOP) can't get their outrage right....since more than a few of them think and feel the same way as Akin in regard to rape/abortions. All the hoopla is simply because of the fact that Akin "put it out there" during an election year. The GOP has taken a hard turn toward the "right", and this Akin guy is as conservative as they come.

    As disturbing as Akin's statement was, I understand that people are entitled to their opinion(s). What I don't understand is why they are unable to stand up for their beliefs/mandates/principles 24/7...even in the face of controversy. The GOP isn't fooling anyone here, and I find the calls from other conservatives for Akin to step down absolutely hilarious and pathetic all at the same time. The only one here that gets a pass is Senator Brown who is far more moderate than a lot of his GOP brethren.

    As for Romney, we all know this guy never takes a position or stand on any issue unless it is "politically safe" to do so. Nothing new here lol.

    August 20, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. chill

    FAMILY Research Council? How pathetic. They are the ones who need to grow a spine so they can stand up for the decency they claim is their goal. This jerk is all but claiming a woman can't get pregnant as a result of a "real" rape- as if the thousands who do each year weren't "really" raped, and Perkins wants to go after Scott Brown for not bowing down low enough. And you have to bow pretty low to get to Perkins' and Akin's level.

    August 20, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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