Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Former congressman and horrifically failed Senate candidate Todd Akin is back — and he’s still making life miserable for his fellow Republicans.

Akin, whose 2012 bid to unseat Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) imploded when he infamously declared that women rarely get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” resurfaced in late June with an ebook titled Firing Back. The central theme of the book, which was published by the right-wing, conspiracy-minded WorldNetDaily, is that Akin was right about rape, and he only lost his election by 16 points because he loves the Constitution too much.

On Thursday, Politico ran excerpts from the book, in which he pointedly walks back the apology that he made for the remarks during the campaign.

“By asking the public at large for forgiveness,” Akin writes, “I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said.”

“My comment about a woman’s body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress on fertilization. This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss,” he continues. “Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,’ and you will find a library of research on the subject.”

(We’ll save you the trouble; Akin is, and always has been, completely wrong.)

In addition to rescinding his apology for the comments that ruined his career and did incalculable damage to the Republican Party’s brand, he revealed how he thinks then-presidential nominee Mitt Romney should have defended Akin’s honor: By making a rape joke.

Akin writes that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should have defended him by using Clinton’s indiscretions and alleged comment that one woman “put some ice on that” just as Clinton was set to serve as a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention. In 2012, Romney denounced Akin’s comments and urged him to drop out of the race.

What Akin believes Romney should have said when asked about the “legitimate rape” comments: “[Bill Clinton] is giving the keynote speech at the Democratic convention in two weeks, and you want me to denounce a decent, God-fearing man for his inelegant comments about rape? No, not happening, and if the truth hurts, put some ice on it.”

Akin’s fantasy speech for Romney, which refers to a discredited allegation that Clinton assaulted a nursing home administrator in the 1970s, reveals the political instincts that crushed his career in the first place. Back in the real world, given a choice between Todd Akin and a wisecracking Mitt Romney vocally defending “legitimate rape,” or Bill Clinton, the most popular politician in the country, it’s not hard to guess with whom voters would side.

But Akin isn’t worried about that; instead, he’s upset that Politico “censored” him by retelling Akin’s anecdote with “[Bill Clinton]” instead of Akin’s original phrase, “A credibly accused rapist.”

Unsurprisingly, Republicans are less than thrilled with Akin’s return to the spotlight.

“Todd Akin is an embarrassment to the Republican Party and the sole reason Claire McCaskill is still part of Harry Reid’s majority,” former National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Brian Walsh told Politico. “It’s frankly pathetic that just like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell in 2010, he refuses to take any responsibility for sticking his foot in his mouth, alienating voters and costing Republicans a critical Senate seat. Worse, he’s now trying to make money off his defeat. The sooner he leaves the stage again, the better.”

Similarly, former Romney advisor Kevin Madden noted that “Todd Akin has no one to blame for his loss but Todd Akin,” adding that “Mitt Romney, from Massachusetts, won Missouri by 10 points. Todd Akin lost by 16 points. It’s fairly simple.”

Still, Akin does have his defenders within the party; former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wrote an enthusiastic forward to Firing Back. Huckabee, who is also no stranger to alienating female voters, insisted that “[W]e can sit on the bus (in the back!), but they don’t want us to drive the bus!,” and explained that the GOP establishment was “still bruised that they didn’t beat Todd in the primary, saw [the comments] as their opportunity to take him out and select someone more palatable to their tastes.”

Yes, in Huckabee’s mind, the NRSC was just waiting for an opportunity to send Claire McCaskill back to the Senate.

And while most Republicans aren’t as vocally supportive as Huckabee is, their party’s official stance on abortion still looks a lot like Akin’s.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Republicans have been relieved to avoid devastating gaffes throughout the 2014 election cycle. But Akin’s return to the spotlight should serve as an unpleasant reminder that a legitimate political disaster could always be lurking around the corner in a party that can’t seem get past its fixation on the culture wars.

Screenshot: YouTube

Want more political news and analysis? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Sand_Cat

    It never ceases to amaze me that the previous campaign’s “gaffes” are forgotten, or at least never appreciated as expressions of the true GOP position on most issues, or at the very least, an excellent insight into what the candidate really thought, thoughts that are unlikely to change, no matter what he or she claims. Akin is performing a service by reminding those foolish enough to forget.

    • RobertCHastings

      As you know, American voters have a notoriously short memory. Yes,it is a blessing that Akin has re-inserted himself into the political fray.

    • Old Top Kick

      I was a little concerned after the 2012 drubbing on the national scene that the Rebugs were getting their act together with Reince Prebus’ postmortem on the party and what caused the results. Bobby Jindal then wisely reminded the party that they had to stop being the “Party of Stupid.” I was greatly relieved when Prebus whirled around 180 degrees and went back to #RancidPenis mode and Piyush doubled down on the stupid.

      Todd Akin has Democrats to thank for his nomination as the Republican candidate for Claire McCaskill’s seat. Thanks for the GREAT idea, Rush — Operation Chaos worked great for us! MO is an open primary state after all! Truthfully I did have to hold my nose when requesting a Republican ballot and stifle the agita rising in my throat as I connected the two halves of the arrow next to his name, but it was all worth it in the end.

      I guess that we do owe Akin a debt of gratitude for coming back on the national stage and reminding everyone what the once-great GOP has devolved into and now stands for. Thanks, Todd, from the bottom of my stinking Liberal heart!

      • Sand_Cat

        I registered as a Republican because Democrats almost never win in my district or county, and I wanted to have at least a theoretical influence on which idiot ended up “representing” me in Congress, State Legislature, City Council, etc. I never vote GOP in the actual elections.
        You get over the hesitation when you realize they’re going to waste tons of money sending you propaganda which goes straight into the garbage – although I must admit I’ve come close to sending in my survey to the national party for yucks – having pollsters call you (I had a ball one day when a GOP pollster called me), etc.

  • billknowsit

    Maybe Romney could have said something like “… you know there’s 47% of rapes, you know, legitimate rapes, that the body will just shut down…” . Of course, the real story is the bottom line, that conservatives do believe that horrible bs.

  • Dominick Vila

    In addition to the neanderthal opinions voiced by this idiot, it is readily apparent that the GOP is planning to resurrect all the claims they made when Bill Clinton was running for office. Lacking a record to run on, and without a vision to influence the decisions of the electorate, the only thing left for the GOP to do is throw mud, focus on issues such as abortion, gun control, illegal immigration, and sex scandals, without ever offering proof to support their claims or offering solutions. This is what happens when the members of a political party are greedy empty suits without a positive idea to offer or a record to run on.

    • Old Top Kick

      It’s more like the are throwing feces, not mud.

  • terry b

    It is easy to see why the card carrying members of the retarded right identtify with 1st trimester fetuses as both groups have no developed heart or brain. Finally, an easy answer as to why they are against 1st trimester abortions.

    • plc97477

      That explains a lot. Thank you.

  • [email protected]

    “Todd Akin is an embarrassment to the Republican Party/// the GOP is its own embarrassment to their party

    • latebloomingrandma

      It’s their own fault for fostering these kooks from the beginning of the Obama administration. Ye reap what ye sow.

  • jointerjohn

    So here’s Brian Walsh wishing that fools like Akin, Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell would go away, yet his party continues to hang out the welcome sign to those even nuttier than they. Given the ideological trajectory of the current G.O.P., I predict they will be produce some representative who will make those three look moderate. With that insane World Net Daily and people like Ted Nugent out there carrying your banner, it’s a sure bet that we haven’t seen the last of wacko republican candidates. The party feeds their craziness, makes excuses for them, and only half-heartedly rejects them after they have done damage.

    • dave

      They keep alienating the very voters they HAVE to have to win ANY election. All this big talk about 2014 is just that TALK !!! Voters don’t forget as fast or as much as they hope they do either.Trot out a few more losers from 2010 and 2012,and see how fast voters remember WHO to blame.Losers.losers,losers,perry,huckabee,akin,palin,etc.,
      ,etc.,etc.,etc. Do the repubs have ANY new faces that voters don’t know enough about to still vote for in 2016?? Probably not,romney running around speechifying about the usual b.s. won’t get many votes either. Stupid statements about women,refusal to even talk about immigration reform and refusal to treat minorities like they deserve a voice in politics .Better luck next time,[whenever that might be].

      • jointerjohn

        They have deemed it perfectly acceptable to stick to their rigid ideologues and attempt to win elections by just being right on everything. Compromise is a dirty word for them and conciliation a weakness, so they will either plunge headlong into the history books or manage to prey upon the willfully stupid to turn the country to their liking. I’m hoping for the former.

      • Charles Winter

        Republicans can’t win without women and minorities, and they can’t win without the Ultra Right. They have positioned themselves to be a permanent minority party.

        • Terri Pastorelli

          I’m glad that they keep doing this. All of the recent talk about their need to become the kinder, gentler party in order to be able to attract women and minority voters is just a bunch of words the RNC has strung together. The behavior of their candidates, past & present, tells the true story.

          • RobertCHastings

            It has been posited in the past that if one were to put a hundred monkeys at the keyboards of 100 typewriters, within a finite period of time they would eventually by the mere operation of chance come up with Shakespeare.

  • FT66

    They keep coming back. Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Todd Akin. All these three remind people how bad GOP is. No one can shut their mouths up and there isn’t any good period when mid-term is coming closer and closer.

    • 1standlastword

      If I were a Christian I would say Satan has preserved them for the purpose of glorifying god. But since I know better, it’s more like arrogance and pride goeth before an even greater fall…theirs to be sure…and clear!

    • RobertCHastings

      Let us just hope that this triumvirate of lunacy continues to wave their flag of hatred and vituperation, to constantly keep before the electorate their clear message of what the Republican party represents.

  • Ford Truck

    I doubt if Akin will ever hold office. The reason? Because “the female body [of voters] has ways to shut that whole thing down…”

    • whodatbob


    • Yappy2

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I live in Missouri and when you get outside of the St Louis city and St. Louis County area it is mostly Republican. Those right wingers will use contraception, but they vote Republican. The State law makers are very lopsided Republican. That’s why we don’t have state Obama care, even though we have a Democratic Governor. Even some in the County listen to Fox and spout there trash.

  • latebloomingrandma

    For a party that’s always touting “freedom”, they don’t seem to understand what this means, especially as related to the culture wars, an interesting term.
    Each country over time develops a unique culture, influenced by many things: climate, geography, natural resources, available food, religious practices, superstition, education, and the varieties of peoples who come together. . Our 50 states even have their own cultures, so to speak. One thing about the USA, however, is that our country was founded on ideas and opportunity, individuality, while coming together for the common good. We have no one “nationality” or religion. We are a multicultural stew and a “free society” finds a way to incorporate all these ideas into its fabric.
    This country has major problems to solve. Fixating on our changing culture is an exercise in futility. If people would concentrate on getting their own houses in order, taking care of their children, and educating them, our culture won’t descend into debauchery and the way of the Roman Empire. Your marriage is not in danger if the people next door are men married to each other. If you don’t believe in contraceptives, don’t buy them; not one is forcing you to. We need to find ways to come together for the common good, or find an island to live on, and be careful of whom you put in charge.. .

    • dave

      The right trying to use religion as an excuse for its stupidity will only take them so far too. Its pretty much all christian and no one else .All hell would break loose if christians were allowed a major say in our govt.

      • Independent1

        Please don’t equate GOP loving Evangelicals and ‘Christians’ to “True Christians”. I think a lot of Americans, including many on the NM, who have a negative view of the faux Christians portrayed by Republicans, would be greatly surprised on how different the Christians are who can see through the charade that GOP loving Christians portray.

        • ps0rjl

          You are right. Unfortunately because the crazy Christians get all the press, they seem to paint all Christians with the same brush. Just remember though that if those extreme right wing churches would have their way progressive denominations such as Episcopal, Unitarian, and Presbyterian would certainly be demonized by them.

      • Sand_Cat

        I find it particularly galling that their calls for “religious liberty” are always for their “right” to control or abuse someone else.

    • Allan Richardson

      As the Kirinyaga novels of Mike Resnick demonstrate, ANY attempt to keep a culture pure and unchanged requires violent suppression of individual freedom, in which by definition a person wants to act or become differently than the culturally assigned norm. And eventually such violent suppression will fail. Even if such a “closed” society is founded by people who CHOOSE to do so, there are two weaknesses: the fact that the founding generation cannot “unlearn” completely the culture that they are rejecting, and the tendency of new generations to come up with new ideas.

      For example, if a culture specifies that all red headed women must become weavers of cloth, it must violently suppress the individual freedom of a red headed woman who would prefer to become a truck driver, or a blond man who wants to become a weaver, in order to keep the “purity” of its cultural definitions. Yet, eventually, enough red headed women who insist on being something other than weavers (or, for that matter, are not very good at it), and enough people who are not red headed women who have a real talent for weaving and insist on doing it, will change the cultural norms.

  • howa4x

    What people don’t realize about Akin is that he is a democratic mole disguised as a Midwest republican. He is an agent provocateur sent in by the DCC to lure unsuspecting religious voters into a trap. Get them riled up enough with niche issues that will propel him into the general election where he will happily get slaughtered. It is all a plot straight out of the Glen Beck book of conspiracies.

    • johninPCFL

      Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” writ large! LOL

    • Allan Richardson

      If only our side really did have such long term strategies! Actually, anyone with enough heart to BE a liberal or progressive would have to be an acting genius to stay in character as such a hateful person full time for years like this. Eventually, he/she would let his/her true feelings come out, or actually BECOME one of them.

      And yes, I remember the Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror” in which the good Kirk and Spock fared better in the evil mirror universe than the evil ones fared in our universe, but remember, the action was resolved (with everyone back in his/her proper universe) in a much shorter time than even a single Congressional term.

  • jmprint

    He is soooooo STUPID, Rape is unforgivable. No woman, child or man should be subject to this ungodly act, in the Lord’s eyes it is the same as abortion. Shouldn’t we be looking at laws against rape instead?

  • 1standlastword

    Sounds like Todd is “achin’ (g)'” for another chance

  • ExRadioGuy15

    Mr. Akin has just “graduated” from Fascist and sociopathic Teaidjit to Fascist and psychopathic Con…congrats, Mr. Akin…now that you’ve graduated, please seek psychiatric help immediately 🙁 ssmdh

    • Sand_Cat

      I don’t know: is he smart enough to be a Fascist?

  • johninPCFL

    Seems like Todd went back down to the basement to study up on women’s matters again.
    Why do all of these baggers fantasize about rape and buttsex?

    • RobertCHastings

      We all have our own sex fantasies. I find it disgusting that Republicans feel it is necessary to make theirs so public.

  • RobertCHastings

    One can only assume that Akin, as with many people, is speaking from personal experience. It is apparent that his mother was not very stressed when it happened – was she high on something or inadvertently under the influence of a “date rape” drug. One cannot easily ascertain the facts behind Akin’s adherence to this theory, or the possible application of some autobiographical influence on his opinions and values, but it must be assumed, reasonably so, that something traumatic occurred in his background to cause him to hate women so much.

  • herchato

    The biggest and best and brightest are always on display for the republicans.

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    I would take a sinner like Bill Clinton one million times before I would take a truly evil, hateful, unrepentant bigot, prude and fascist like Todd Akin. Bill Clinton profusely apologized for his personal failing. Todd Akin yells: I was right!!!!

  • Elliot J. Stamler


  • Allan Richardson

    Todd Akin is deliberately confusing the effect of stress on fertility in couples who are already INFERTILE and TRYING to conceive, with the effect of stress on a woman who is NOT TRYING to conceive and who may (or may not) be EXTREMELY fertile without stress. Totally different situations. Furthermore, the infertile couple is under stress long BEFORE they make love with the intention of conceiving, while the rape victim is stressed AS A RESULT of the violent act of the rapist. By that time, it is too late for any amount of stress to make a difference.

  • noprops

    Welcome back Toddy – we need you back in the fray to keep this 2014 midterm election entertaining. I’m sure the GOP want you and your intellectual soulmate Sarah (still crazy after all these years) Palin talking your heads off to the electorate across the country…..