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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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."

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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

    This man has made it clear that he is no respecter of women. Let him run – he represents what the GOP thinks but is afraid to say. Intelligent voters will vote him away.

    August 20, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Cyp

    Tony Perkins is a hypocrite. I am sure if the rape happened in his family he will silently have an abortion. All these so called conservatives are a bunch of hypocrites. You spend so much time looking at a speck of wood in your neighbours eye whhen you have a log of wood in your eye. I am no Rebulican let alone Conservative but Scott Brown is right and Tony Perkins and Mackey and Romney and Ryan are wrong. Todd Akin has said he is sorry which means he accepts he was wrong. Deal with it.

    August 20, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. B.

    This guy is a primary example of why the Republicans absolutely do not get it and will not succeed in this election attempt.

    Hate and racism are their weakness.

    August 20, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. anoel2005

    if the Democrats can twist Akin's words for a few days, that's a few more days they won't have to talk about the high unemployment and a skyrocketing $16 trillion debt.

    August 20, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. GeneK

    ""I don't know anything about the science"

    Sounds like conservatives have found themselves a new motto.

    August 20, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    it isnt the Republican Party that delights in killing girl babies

    August 20, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. cali girl

    Here is one for everyone
    I sorry Todd it.
    Say it fast.

    August 20, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. John the Historian

    The Christian Right and the theocracy they want will never happen. The USA has no established church. Akin will now lose in Missouri. One more democrat will stay in the Senate. Willard will lose big time. Maybe even Missouri will go Obama this time. So ironic Willard isn't even Christian being a mormon cult follower. I wonder if Joseph Smith and Brigham has wives that ever had abortions. Surely that was kept secret in the mormon cult. I wonder if they will ever display these golden tablets. How can anyone believe the garbage this cult believes in. Now not even the Baptists in the South will vote for Willard.

    August 20, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Dan5404

    Radicals defending another radical. He could say anything except take obama's side and they would back him. Please continue to do that right-wingers, we need McCaskill in that seat.

    August 20, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. American People

    The GOP plan for the American People: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military.

    August 20, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    I suggest that the organization run by Tony (Norman Bates) Perkins learn what a real "GOTCHA" question is because they obvioulsly do not know. Some so-called Christian group this is!

    August 20, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Michael

    I'm a white male in his mid-50's ... and have felt for eons that NOBODY has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Whenever I see a Florida license plate that expouses "Choose Life", my thoughts fall towards, "The operative word here is "CHOOSE" ... The FRC is a freaking joke; Akin's comment shows a serious lack of knowledge or concern over women's rights. He probably rails against the Emancipation Proclemation or Gettysburg Address as well. What an Ultra Maroon ... a true P'taK in every sense of the word.

    August 20, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    CNN, your policy of censorship in this 'Ticker' is beyond unprofessional. The least you should strive for, if you must censor political comment, is consistency

    August 20, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. aaron

    The whole thing is hilarious. These conservatives have twisted the truth, outrighted lied, and made mountains out of molehills since that nasty Gingrich taught them how to do it. Dems finally get the sense to fight fire with fire, and all conservatives do is whine and claim persecution. They can dish it out, but can't take it.

    August 20, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Family Research Council....a group that does not stand for the family, and certainly does not engage in any research from any credible soucrces on any topic. As to the word " council", give them time to butcher the meaning and significance of that as well.

    August 20, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Howard

    Newsweek magazine is targeting its latest controversial cover at the Obama administration. It’s part of a devastating story written by esteemed British historian Niall Ferguson telling President Obama that it’s time to go and that the only team that can possibly turn the country around is the Romney-Ryan ticket.

    “In his inaugural address, Obama promised ‘not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.’” Ferguson writes in the cover story, “Hit the Road, Barack: Why We Need a New President.”

    “He promised to ‘build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.’ He promised to ‘restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.’” wrote Ferguson, who made some of the same arguments in a March 2012 Newsmax cover story, "Decision Time." “And he promised to ‘transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.’ Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.”

    “Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit,” Ferguson writes. “We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.”

    August 20, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Facepalm28

    "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?"

    It's actually fairly simple, Stein. Akin simply meant that women who are truly being raped, entirely against their will, almost never get pregnant. Therefore, in his mind, women who claim they got pregnant as a result of rape weren't really raped and are lying. Utterly astounding how someone with such an utter lack of scientific or moral understanding can be elected to write our laws.

    August 20, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Terry

    Seems to me former representative Akins is part of the "lay back and enjoy it" crowd. "She's gonna have a rapist's baby? Well, she shouldn't have led him on..."

    August 20, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. luigim

    Wise up Republican voters. These idiots that are rallying to Akin's defence are seriously flawed. They too should be voted out of office. This Democracy does need these people to represent the public.

    August 20, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. Khaleeshi

    This is all part of the GOP's war on women. I hope Missouri does the right thing and votes this creep out of office.

    August 20, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. alien

    Sad truth is a lot of people have the same twisted views as the todd akkkins and 98% of the gop elite.

    August 20, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. george of the jungle

    well said MR. President. If these clowns get in office we will be back in the 1950's. Amazing that people this stupid get elected. Did this man not attend school??? But then most remarks made by the repos are distorted or out right lies. Complaine about Joe all you want but he isnt stupid like this jerk. Forward. 2012 Women take heed

    August 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. The Other Dale

    Howard, you do realize this is an article dealing with Akin, not Obama. But to get to your point, Newsweek has already admitted that they did no factchecking on the article and several economists have come forward stating quite clearly that Ferguson is incorrect, used incorrect research material and just flat-out doesn't know what he's talking about.

    But, thanks for playing.

    August 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Steve

    And here in lies the problem with lobbyists. Perkins states "I don't know anything about the science or the legal implications of his statement", yet he supports it 100% because it backs his views. So instead of being educated and intellectual, and researching this [bogus] statement, Perkins just denounces everyone, including Romney, that were smart enough to know this was about the dumbest thing anyone could ever have said.

    August 20, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. luigim

    Wake up Voters! These idiots that come to Akin's defense are as guilty as he is and should be voted out of office. What kind of thing is this when people such as Akins are representing the citizens of the United States. They should all be drummed out of office. It is a DISGRACE!!

    August 20, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5