This May 17, 2011 file photo shows U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate, in Creve Coeur, Mo. Akin said in an interview Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012 with St. Louis television station KTVI that pregnancy from rape is "really rare." Akin, who has said he opposes all abortions, said in the interview if a woman is raped, her body "has ways to shut that whole thing down."
After his incendiary remarks on “legitimate rape,” Republicans want Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the race for the Missouri Senate. By law, he has until 5 pm Central Time today to do so, but he’s already told radio show host Mike Huckabee that he won’t do that.
The GOP has been distancing itself from Akin since he told a local TV reporter over the weekend that in cases of "legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee says it won't spend the $5 million it has reserved for Missouri TV ads if Akin stays in the race and conservative outside-spending group Crossroads GPS has already pulled its ads from the Missouri race.While his words drew quick criticism from Republicans, Akin was defending the same position on abortion that the Republican Party adopted at a pre-convention meeting today, calling for a ban on abortion without exception for rape.
Will it be more difficult for Republicans to move ahead with that platform if Akin refuses to drop out of the race? Could social issues such as abortion overshadow issues like the economy and sway undecided voters?
Adam Allington, political reporter, Missouri public radio station
Deborah Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University
Arnold Steinberg, political strategist and analyst, a libertarian-conservative long associated with Republican campaigns