McCaskill ad uses Akin 'legitimate rape' comment against him
October 29th, 2012
12:25 PM ET
10 years ago

McCaskill ad uses Akin 'legitimate rape' comment against him

(CNN) – Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill's re-election campaign released a new ad Monday using video of opponent Rep. Todd Akin's controversial comments on rape.

The Republican congressman used the term "legitimate rape" in a Missouri television interview in August to describe what he explained was the process a woman's body goes through to shut down pregnancies in such cases.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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

Akin quickly apologized but his comments stirred controversy on a national level. With the risk of foregoing a majority in the Senate, many within Akin's own party disavowed the embattled congressman and called on him to exit the race to no avail.

The McCaskill campaign ad brings the backlash of Akin's remarks to the local level, using clips of Missouri women expressing fear of Akin pushing his views through legislation.

The 30-second spot titled "Real Words - Women" comes in a series of ads from McCaskill's campaign aimed at painting a picture of Akin as out of touch with Missouri voters.

The spot begins with a woman who says, "Todd Akin is scary."

"Todd's statement about 'legitimate rape' is beyond the pale," says another woman.

Then, the ad shows the now-infamous clip of Akin in the August interview.

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," said the Republican Senate hopeful.

The ad continues with a series of women saying: "He has no idea how it even works and he wants to legislate about it; I worry about the misinformation he evidently believes; I'm afraid of what he'll do in Congress; All women in Missouri need to think what happens to their rights."

McCaskill's campaign has used Akin's comments in previous ads.

Eight days out from Election Day, McCaskill and Akin are locked in a heated battle for a Senate seat. Prior to Akin's comments and the firestorm of criticism that ensued, the Missouri race was thought to be a likely take-back for the GOP. Now, the race is in a dead heat.

A Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by Missouri news outlets, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and released Saturday, shows McCaskill with 45% support among likely Missouri voters and Akin with 43%. McCaskill's advantage is well within the survey's sampling error of four percentage points, rendering the race statistically tied.

The poll, conducted from October 23-25, also showed Akin's controversial remark had a significant impact on the race; three-quarters of those supporting McCaskill said in the survey that Akin's "legitimate rape" comment was "somewhat" or "very" important for their decision.

Akin senior adviser Rick Tyler said in response to the spot that in spite of the McCaskill campaign's television ad buys, the race remains in a dead heat because of Akin's grassroots campaign efforts.

"Despite Claire McCaskill's spending $7 million in the last quarter, a Missouri record, to Akin's $1 million, no amount of money can cover over her liberal voting record and her corruption. No amount of distraction will convince Missouri voters to return her to the Senate," said Tyler.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Claire McCaskill • Missouri • Todd Akin
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I hope that Atkin is run over by McCaskill. I wouldn't want anyone in government that doesn't understand the basics of things like human anatomy. It shows that He can't be trusted with even the most basic information and to draw the proper conculsions.

    October 29, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Amy

    I'm not defending Akin's comment, but this is an attempt to take the focus off a real issue. Most abortions are NOT the result of a rape pregnancy, and it is the unborn child that will ultimately be punished here, not Todd Akin, if McCaskill wins.

    October 29, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. rs

    "Legitimate Rape" should be tattooed on his forehead- and probably any other Republican's who is dumb enough to support this man's policies (hear that Mr. Ryan?).

    October 29, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. jeff odette

    Pure ignorance.

    October 29, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. luke,az

    Gov. Romney is NOT presidential material. How any women can vote for him is beyond belief. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock will ensure that Gov Romney won't make it to the White House. By the way, SHOW US YOUR TAXES FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS.

    October 29, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Max


    Akin is so far behind this 21st century.... just like Mitt Romney and the rest of those right wing bigots. These GOP guys simply needs to adjust to the 21st century...are they really living among the rest of us in the now????


    October 29, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. plain&simple

    A stupid comment ,in this case shows ignorance! We don't need ignorant people in high office. If policy is an issue work to balance it....ignorant people obstruct!!!

    October 29, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. ed

    Yes Akin is an idiot.....however, the alternative, McCaskil, is a card carrying Marxist....I will vote for Akin over Air Claire even if he grews horns and a tail by election day.

    October 29, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. plain&simple

    Ignorance cannot be reasoned with. McCaskil is not ignorant.

    October 29, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
1 2