4:08pm

Mon August 20, 2012
All Politics are Local

McConnell: Akin Should Reconsider Candidacy

Calling the comments "inexcusable" Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is urging Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to reconsidering his bid. Over the weekend, Congressman Akin was asked if he would support abortion in the case of women who have been raped. Akin said: "It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare...If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

He apologized Monday for the controversial remarks and rejected calls to drop out of the race, but GOP leaders have said the Missouri lawmaker should think twice.

Kentucky Public Radio requested a comment from McConnell, and received the following statement.

From McConnell's office:

"Congressman Akin’s comments were totally inexcusable.  What he said is just flat wrong in addition to being wildly offensive to any victim of sexual abuse.  Although Representative Akin has apologized, I believe he should take time with his family to consider whether this statement will prevent him from effectively representing our party in this critical election."

McConell's statement follows other GOP leaders who have recommended that Akin spend the next day rethinking his candidacy.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a New Hampshire radio station that Akin should use the next 24 hours to reconsider and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tx., suggested the same. Akin is facing Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, who had been considered vulnerable by observers until recently.

Earlier this year, McConnell said the GOP had a 50-50 chance at winning the majorityand that it was going to be a close election.

At a White House press briefing Monday, President Obama also spoke out against Akin's remarks and suggested it showed a divide between Democrats and Republicans on women's reproductive rights.

"Rape is rape," Mr. Obama told reporters. "And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me."