Rove unloads on Todd Akin on eve of GOP convention
August 27th, 2012
11:08 AM ET
11 years ago

Rove unloads on Todd Akin on eve of GOP convention

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Republican strategist Karl Rove ramped up his criticism of Missouri candidate Todd Akin on Monday, calling his recent remarks about rape and abortion "morally incomprehensible" and insisting that he drop out of the race.

"I know Todd. He is a good man and he's got a good heart," Rove said at a breakfast in Tampa hosted by Politico. "He said a really stupid, indefensible thing from which there is no recovery and if he really cares are about the values of conservatism and pro-life, he will not go down for defeat as the biggest loss by a Republican candidate for Senate in modern history."

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To make his point, Rove highlighted last week's Mason-Dixon poll surveying the race between Akin and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. The poll showed Akin's support plummeting in the wake of his now-infamous remark that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.

"You can see that the guy was ahead by 10 points just after the Republican primary and a week later is behind by 8 or 9 or 10 and sinking," he said.

Rove's cash-flush 527 group, American Crossroads, has threatened to withhold funding for television ads in Missouri until Akin steps aside.

But the efforts of Washington-based GOP groups like Crossroads to push Akin out of the race have rankled some Christian conservatives, including former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee, who have rallied to Akin's side and urged him to fight on.

Rove said he understood their concerns but said there is no path forward for the Republican congressman.

"I talk to some conservatives who say, 'It's not fair. We have to stand with him,'" Rove said. "Well, it is unfair. I get that. But it was also incredibly wrong, and there was no recovery from it. It would be one thing if it was some minor misstatement. But this was pseudo-science and morally incomprehensible."

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soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. BlkPwr817

    Wow, they're turning on one their own. What do you think they'll do to the rest of the American public if things don't go their way? They should get on the same page before they ask the American people to vote for them...

    August 27, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Peace

    Todd Akin and Paul Ryan hold the same stand on abortion. When Ryan was asked to elaborate it, the answer he gave was "rape is rape, end of story". Hmmmm! Why should Karl Rove wants one to leave and the other one to stay? Rove should leave it to people to decide come Nov.

    August 27, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Wes B.

    The GOP has Akin's stance in its official platform they are announcing at the convention. Akin just said what his party stands for. And Ryan CO-SPONSORED a bill with Akin on this very exact thing! Don't act all shocked, Rove. This is the GOP...and this is their stance.

    August 27, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. California Gary

    Apparently, Akin's big sin was in outing the real position of the GOP for all to see.......his position is no different from the platform for the party.........they were just hoping to keep that particular plank low profile where nobody would really notice.

    August 27, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Eddie The Barber

    The GOP is doing everything possible to subvert the will of the voters – in this public disagreement with Akin, not because of what he thinks but because he was stupid enough to express what they all think. The behind the scenes handlers like Rove don't what the will of the republican primary electorate who chose Aikn over his opponet to decide who represents them – Carl Rove and the money boys should decide. Add that to what the republican party is trying to do to pre-invalidate the more pro democratic electorate and the big money goint to the right wing pacs this year and the picture becomes clear – victory at any cost – even at the expense of our right to vote. Just let Carl and the boys decide for us. I'm scouting out real estate in Canada because this country will go to hell if we allow these people to take away the voting rights of all people the disagree with – which is where we're headed.

    August 27, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Pam from Iowa

    Guess we know who's running the show, huh?

    August 27, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. lolo

    They are really upset that this man peeped their hold card, which is that they are having a war on people's rights and the 99% is not putting up with it. America has awaken to the GOP/TP lies and hypocritical ways. OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. cali girl

    That's right, Rove-y boo boo. Pump that money into Akins negativity. Looks Good for McCaskill.

    August 27, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Johnathan

    Rove calls Akin's comments "morally incomprehensible".
    This is the same legislation that the REPUBLICAN congress agreed to and passed in congress.
    Bizzare to watch them eat their own (Akin) over something they ALLl support.

    What is "morally incomprehensible" is the fact that those that helped enact this type of legislation (VP candidate Ryan, for one) are so all of a sudden "appalled".

    Now that this stinkin thinkin in congress is out in the sunshine for all to see, instead of the stealthy ways they prefer... it is all of a sudden appaling?

    Obama hasn't killed the economy, it's the JOBS JOBS JOBS midtermers tea bagger/GOP from 2010 that have KILLED every job bill put forth, and passed over 30 Akin like bills, and put youe economic well being on the backburner, wanting to give Obama (and you), by design, zero chance of getting the economy moving.

    Economic Terrorists
    American Taliban

    These are the phrases that best describe the GOP these days.

    August 27, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door

    Although Akin said, " I'm not a quitter.", that's not the point. The point is he made an inexcusable error in judgement and he just needs to own up to that and do what is right. Leave the race. Be a patriot. Step aside for the good of the nation. This is bigger than your own ego.
    Akin is a Republican, which means that he's not a "quitter", not even when it is the right thing to do. He is the real deal, a hard nosed right winger.

    August 27, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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