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.

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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)

    Hit him where it hurts Claire. You can't walk back statements like that Todd. You meant what you said and now you have to deal with it.

    October 29, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. California Gary

    There is no more effective way to beat an idiot than to use his own words against him.

    October 29, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    I don't know how any gop bafoon like akins romney Ryan bachmann cantor can get elected to any office in the USA ,go Claire and Obama ,a real president!!!!

    October 29, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Mike

    This mis-informed shmendrick sits on the Science/Technology Committee. So the House leadership continues to prove its own gutlessness and ignorance by leaving him there. Hopefully the people of MO are smarter. It's not just about the negative impact that he will have on women's rights (and by extension, the rights of all of us to control our own bodies), but also the impact that he has on the direction of science funding (and therefore education funding) for the country as a whole.

    October 29, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. topaids

    Come on McCaskill. Is this all you got? This topic is last months news. Senators don't create the nation's abortion laws, so this is really a moot issue. McCaskill is just trying to distract us from the fact that her spending record is disastrous. Just like the rest of them, she has spent us into oblivion... voting for every debt increase and every bailout.

    October 29, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. truth hurts

    California Gary
    There is no more effective way to beat an idiot than to use his own words against him.
    Which is exactly why Obama wil lose on Nov. 6. 4 years of lies make for great Romney commercials!

    October 29, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. just sayin

    akin within the margin of error so sounds like mccaskill is getting desperate. run more ads about mccaskills support of obamacare and she will lose. that simple.

    October 29, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. allens

    democrat or republican, he is a immoral mean spirited and ignorant individual. if he gets elected, it will say a lot about the people of Missouri. nothing good

    October 29, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Larry

    What a black day for the state of missouri – half of its voting population believes todd akin would make a good senator.

    October 29, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. WB

    Akin's comments are reason enough to never vote for him. Far too stupid to hold a job at McDonald's–much less the US Senate.

    But Akin's big shot at McCaskill is that she's a hard-line liberal. Really??? McCaskill is ranked right smack in the middle when ranking the liberalness/conservativeness of US Senators. She's hardly a toe-the-party-line Democrat. Once again, he's clueless on something that's pretty easy to verify.

    If you don't like McCaskill, that's understandable–she speaks her mind, and you're not always going to agree. But a vote for Todd Akin is a vote for ignorance.

    October 29, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Bill Martin

    Is rape part of God's plan, as Repugs seem to believe? How about what the Bible says in Numbers, Chapter 5, where a compulsory abortion procedure is set out to handle pregnancy caused by adultery? "make your womb discharge and make you miscarry" 5:22 In fact, it seems like Moses is more concerned about the health of the family than the health of a zygote. Adultery, rape, illegitimacy - all these threaten strong families and are opposed by Moses, per the Bible. See also: Deuteronomy 23:2

    October 29, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. ghostriter

    Senators don't create the nation's abortion laws.........

    OK, I am all for not allowing stupid people to vote. Heck, Akin put forth legislation to do this very thing.

    October 29, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Douglas

    @Mike... you're kidding me?? This Akin chowderhead sits on the Science/Technology Committee?? And what is this secret substance that a woman's body secretes to prevent rape pregnancy? My God.

    October 29, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Douglas

    I'm looking closely at that photograph, and can't seem to find Akin's lobotomy scars. I suppose they can do wonders with plastic surgery these days.

    October 29, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. caryinvancouver

    The story says, "McCaskill's advantage [two percentage points] is well within the survey's sampling error of four percentage points, rendering the race statistically tied." The conclusion that the race is "statistically tied" is wrong, wrong, wrong. I see this all the time. The four-point sampling error means, roughly, that there is a 95% chance that McCaskill's lead is between minus two (= 2-4, i.e., Atkin ahead by 2) and plus *six* (2+4) percentage points. Would call that, "statistically tied"?

    October 29, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. gt

    the only thing claire can say...why not a commerical with you and obama.....something positive....

    October 29, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "There is no more effective way to beat an idiot than to use his own words against him."

    Or use a shoe. I prefer the shoe.

    "4 years of lies make for great Romney commercials!"

    You mean like the auto industry commercial Mittens just released that falsely and misleadingly (and quite undeniably) implies that Chrysler is going to ship more jobs off to China? The commercial has Detroit and OH news outlets going nuts and quite angry about how blatantly false the insinuations are and numerous articles have already come out attacking it. CNN, of course, is avoiding it while focusingo on "Mittens this, Mittens that" to help him out, but the voters in those states aren't missing it.

    October 29, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. reginaldb6

    If women don't mobilize and defeat this moron, then you get what you don't need NO RIGHTS.

    October 29, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Wow, imagine if Romney had exercised a little self-discipline in his remarks about almost half of the country, he might have a clear lead instead of a dead heat. Instead, we have statements about trees being taller, corporations being people, and jokes about his being unemployed: that coupled with a grossly inflated record that always leaves out mention of the 2000 fees that he slapped the people of MA, the horrendous job creation record, and being MIA the last 2 years of his term once realized that he could not get re-elected with a 35% approval rating, as well as his begging for federal funds for the Olympics, his record of harvesting companies at Bain, his lack of outreach to people of other faiths while a Bishop and State President....too bad he can't gloss that over.

    October 29, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I wonder if this Akin guy or one of his family members have some sealed court records of rape like Arizona Gov. Jane Brewer's son has otherwise why would he support rape.

    October 29, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. JustAO

    How are these guys even polling that close in a 2012 election with views of women like this? How is it even possible for them to be considered in the year 2012? What crazies want middle-aged conservative men (with views similar to the Taliban) writing laws who hold so much ignorance in and bigotry in their hearts? This is ridiculous in the year 2012!

    October 29, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "This Akin chowderhead sits on the Science/Technology Committee??"

    The GOP consistently and intentionally puts the worst person for the job on the Committees. It's aprt of their "government is broken...seee, we broke it" governance paradigm. The guy who apologized to BP for how Obama was coming down on them for the oil spill...on the Energy Committee. The guy who quoted the Bible during a congressional hearing as though it was proof that climate change is a big hoax and simply cannot be true...envirnomental subcommittee. Perhaps the best example though? Bachman...Intelligence COmmittee. Government doesn't work because peopel keep electing representatives who don't believe in gov't, don't WANT it to work and spend all their time trying to make sure it fails. Plain and simple.

    October 29, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. john_doe

    There is no more effective way to beat an idiot than to use his own words against him.
    Which is exactly why Obama wil lose on Nov. 6. 4 years of lies make for great Romney commercials!
    And Romney has 7+ years of lies. What is the point you are trying to make again?

    October 29, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. rob

    Running tied with a Repub who continues to be hammered by the whole liberal media establishment for his idiotic comments tell us that McCaskil is a very weak candidate to begin with. Making a stupid comment is something one can appologize for but having a terrible record in the Senate and less than stellar ethics is the reason she will most likely be defeated on Nov 6th.

    October 29, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Dan5404

    If anyone deserves to be out of politics, it is this right-wing nut.

    October 29, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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