Latest on Akin, including emergency apology ad

Missouri’s embattled Repub Senate nominee Todd Akin put out an emergency 30-second spot asking for forgiveness for his legitimate-rape-seldom-causes-pregnancy statement. Here’s the video:

It’s all contrition by tone but, as often in such “I misspoke” cases, it’s all tone of contrition but Akin doesn’t actually take anything back, contradict anything he said before nor explain how he happened to misspeak the words he misspoke.

Akin was scheduled to appear on Piers Morgan’s CNN program last night, but he didn’t show, prompting Morgan to call Akin — on air — a “gutless little twerp.”

Two overnight polls on the race: Public Policy Polling finds that even though Akin’s approval rating is way below water (“only 24% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 58% with a negative one”), he still holds a statistically insignificant 1 point lead over incumbent Dem Sen. Clair McCaskill, which reflects how deeply unpopular the one-term incumbent has become and, the PPP writeup suggests, reflects the depth of partisan polarization.

Second poll, from SurveyUSA, indicates that 54 percent of Missourians think Akin should drop out, compared with 35 percent who say stay in.

Akin has until 5 p.m. today to withdraw to ensure that his party can smoothly appoint a successor candidate, but he continues to say on every occasion when he says anything, that he is “not a quitter,” and that he will stay in the race. He said on the Hannity radio show yesterday that he didn’t need until 5 p.m. to decide because he has already decided to stay in. If he withdraws after today, there are still mechanisms for him to be replaced on the ballot, but they are less guaranteed.

On Monday, Paul Ryan joined Mitt Romney in rejecting Akins comments and added they both favor an exception for rape victims in the abortion ban they support. But, according to the National Journal:

Akin and Paul Ryan, House GOP colleagues, share a voting history on abortion rights, including mutual support for a controversial measure that would define embryos as a person. They cosponsored another measure, subsequently withdrawn, that would distinguish “forcible rape” in banning abortion funding. Akin, Ryan, and Mitt Romney also back less-controversial measures, such as defunding Planned Parenthood.

In 2004 and 2008, the national Republican Party  adopted a platform that calls for a “human life amendment” to the U.S. Constitution that would ban abortion and it mentions no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape. CNN’s Peter Henby has seen the current draft of this year’s platform and it says:

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed… We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

The draft platform is scheduled for a vote today.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/21/2012 - 10:17 am.

    Just in case anyone still has doubts….

    This was posted on a professional listserv:

    I’m not sure whether this analysis has been mentioned in current
    reportage of the Akin remarks. The findings suggest the polar
    opposite of what Akin said.

    < http://www.springerlink.com/content/wp5cnp43k6byxj4d/>

    |Are per-incident rape-pregnancy rates higher than per-incident
    |consensual pregnancy rates?
    |Jonathan A. Gottschall and Tiffani A. Gottschall
    |_Human Nature_ 14(1): 1-20, 2003
    |
    |Is a given instance of rape more likely to result in pregnancy than
    |a given instance of consensual sex? This paper undertakes a review
    |and critique of the literature on rape-pregnancy. Next, it presents
    |our own estimation, from U.S. government data, of pregnancy rates for
    |reproductive age victims of penile-vaginal rape. Using data on birth
    |control usage from the Statistical Abstract of the United States, we
    |then form an estimate of rape-pregnancy rates adjusted for the
    |substantial number of women in our sample who would likely have been
    |protected by oral contraception or an IUD. Our analysis suggests that
    |per-incident rape-pregnancy rates exceed per-incident consensual
    |pregnancy rates by a sizable margin, even before adjusting for the
    |use of relevant forms of birth control.

    –David Epstein

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/21/2012 - 10:21 am.

    Away from the election, these comments would draw little fire from within their own party.

    Remember, these are the days, when you invite everyone in your house, you hide the crazy aunts and uncles in the attic.

    Except there are so darn many of them.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/21/2012 - 11:42 am.

      So darn many…Rep. Steve

      So darn many…

      Rep. Steve King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.” For a matter of fact, 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.” Could only be statutory rape or incest.

      Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Senator Dan Hall tweeted, “Why is it you never see an American flag where you see a Vote No for the Mn #Marriage Amendment sign? #mngop pic.twitter.com/KTCpstHs

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/21/2012 - 04:11 pm.

    Here’s one possibility for Senator Hall

    “…”Why is it you never see an American flag where you see a Vote No for the Mn #Marriage Amendment sign?””

    Maybe because some of us already know what country we live in, understand its constitution, and don’t need to be constantly reminded – because we know our taxes pay for roads, schools, Social Security for the little old lady down the street, and the national defense – that ‘freedom isn’t free.’ Perhaps Senator Hall should read the Constitution himself some day…

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/22/2012 - 11:09 am.

      There are Federal laws

      governing the use of the flag.
      Wrapping oneself in it violates the prohibition against using the flag as an article of clothing.

  4. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 08/21/2012 - 07:24 pm.

    So what?

    These campaigns focus on so little that really matters. Akin is a fool, but rest assured this is not the last of his stupid comments. And it is hypocritical for Dems to pile on Rep. Gauthier (no relation) because he is gay. An’t they in favor of equal rights here? Stay out of he bedroom and in session for a change.

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/22/2012 - 08:28 am.

    Why are these things important?

    In the days of managed people and stage managed appearances, it is often hard to tell what the person running thinks and how they think.

    Take for instance US Representative Steve King’s statement that he’s never heard of an instance of an underage girl getting pregnant through statutory rape or incest.

    How is it possible? Child porn, child prostitution, sex trafficking, teen mothers, abuse of minors–all staples in the news (sadly enough), and he just doesn’t know of any instances where an adult has impregnated a child.

    Is he even sentient enough to be a legislator?

    This is a person who is supposed to act in the interests of children, yet has no recognition of the fact that half of underage pregnancies are caused by adults.

    Or is it willful blindness to the issue?

    If so, how can you trust him to get it right with making laws, rules and regulations?

    Or even more to the point, how could you trust him to get it right with respect to dismantling the rules laws and regulations when he cannot see one of the most disturbing trends in the US with respect to the most defenseless citizens?

    If that is not a big clue as to the competence of the Representative, all of the prepackaged talk will not help either.

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