Akin consultant compares him to cult leader
September 28th, 2012
03:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Akin consultant compares him to cult leader

(CNN) - A consultant for Rep. Todd Akin likened the Senate candidate to David Koresh on Friday, saying Akin's ability to withstand GOP pressure to withdraw from the Missouri race was like the cult leader's resistance during the deadly 1993 standoff with federal authorities.

Consultant Kellyanne Conway said she has expressed her opinion to Akin "for a while now," adding Akin was successfully able to sustain the aftermath of his controversial rape comments last month.

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"The first day or two where it was like the Waco with the David Koresh situation where they're trying to smoke him out with the SWAT teams and the helicopters and the bad Nancy Sinatra records. Then here comes day two and you realize the guy's not coming out of the bunker. Listen, Todd has shown his principle to the voters," Conway, CEO of The Polling Company, said a radio show hosted by Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

In a statement Friday evening, Conway clarified her remarks in the interview, saying she was referring to the tactics employed in an effort to push Akin out of the race, not comparing the two men.

"I would never compare Todd Akin to a cult leader, because there is none," she said in the statement. "It may have been in artful, but it was not what was intended."

Koresh led a 51-day stalemate between his armed religious group, The Branch Davidians, and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Waco, Texas. It ended in a massive fire and the deaths of at least 76 people.

Last month, Akin faced several calls from top Republican leaders and groups to drop out of the Senate race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill after he caused an uproar by saying women were biologically capable of blocking pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

The Missouri congressman refused to end his campaign and reiterated his decision Tuesday, the final deadline to drop out of the race.

"A number of people have asked me if I'm dropping out," Akin said a press conference in St. Louis, adding that this is "not my decision," but rather the decision of Republican voters who chose him this summer as their Republican candidate.

Akin got the support of some conservative leaders this week, including South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond announced he was backing Akin Friday, despite calling for Akin to drop out weeks earlier.

McCaskill's seat has long been considered a potential pick-up by the GOP as they seek to retake the Senate majority.

Conway's comments about Koresh come a day after Democrats pounced on Akin for telling a newspaper that his opponent, McCaskill, was not being "ladylike" in the campaign.

"I think we have a very clear path to victory, and apparently Claire McCaskill thinks we do, too, because she was very aggressive at the debate, which was quite different than it was when she ran against Jim Talent," Akin said. "She had a confidence and was much more ladylike [in 2006], but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that's because she feels threatened."

- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Claire McCaskill • Missouri • Senate
soundoff (22 Responses)

    Kellyanne Conway, is herself a kook. Didn't she get banned from the Larry King show, and CNN, back in 2008,.. for her "back of the bus" comment, on Presidential candidate Obama?

    September 28, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    The gift that keeps on giving. He also criticized the LIlly Ledbetter Act and defended the "right" of employers to pay women less at a town hall today...saying it was about "freedom."

    September 28, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Boisepoet

    Wow...and yet people still vote Republican...

    September 28, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    The sad thing is, that people who tune into that program most likely thought of it as a compliment. Koresh, a man who molested young girls and led over 76 people to their deaths, is no one's hero except in the sad minds of the Religious Right.

    September 28, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. batjones

    "Akin got the support of some conservative leaders this week, including South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond announced he was backing Akin Friday, despite calling for Akin to drop out weeks earlier."

    David Koresh did not save a single soul. His followers simply perished in a blaze of fire. Senators DeMint, Santorum and Bond do not seek to save any souls, but still run into the Akin conflagration. Their actions of adding more fuel to the fire are indicative of how destructive Republican continue to be.

    September 28, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Khaleeshi

    This is the typical stance of the republican party now. What a disgrace.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 28, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. TAK

    Akin is the true poster-boy of the Republican Party ... which should tell you something about today's gutless GOP.

    September 28, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    YKIES!!!! Just.... yikes!!!!!

    September 28, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. chilly g

    if the good peoples of missouri vote for this nut they will be sorry for it

    September 28, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Really?

    What I find more disturbing, is that there are actual idiots that will continue to vote for this quack.

    September 28, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. ezduzit757

    Pathetic that the republican party will now back this guy. How do they look at themselves in the mirror?

    September 28, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. rs

    Further proof that the GOP is dying with creatures like this in key leadership positions.

    September 28, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Valar Morghulis

    This analogy goes to the heart of the nutjobs working on Akin's campaign. Would one running for office really want to associate themselves with the horrific events surrounding David Koresh and the Branch Davidians?

    September 28, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Finally an admission from a GOP/Tea Party poltical operative that extreme social evangelical conservatives are considered a cult.

    September 28, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. d

    Do the people of mo. pay attention to what is being said by this giy?

    September 28, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. Bill

    This guy gives me the creeps. Thank goodness he will never be a U.S. senator.

    September 28, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. chill

    What planet do these people come from? Do they really think there are a majority of Misourians who would consider being like David Koresh a good thing? Please tell me that they are wrong. But I don't disagree witht he characterization of Akin as a wacko cult leader. Especially considering the list of nut jobs that have drunk the Kool-Aid and endorsed him. It can't get any weirder. Can it?

    September 28, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why does this not surprise me? He shows that there are a large group of people out there that need to learn biology and human anatomy all over again. Yeah, these women can stop a legitimate rape... by taking their lives is what he is saying.

    September 28, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Luke Brown

    How could anyone – Democrat or Republican – think this man has what it takes to serve in the US Senate? Mitt's call for him to step aside was the one thing thing that made me think he (Romney) actually had some character.

    September 28, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. cali girl

    There will be no uterus's to vote for this windbag.

    September 28, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Wrenn_NYC

    She knows how that ended, right?

    September 28, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Azzy

    I can see the comparison to a cult leader, sure.

    September 28, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |