For the first time since his infamous utterance on rape and pregnancy, Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri was back today on the floor of the U.S. House in Washington — the city where many of his fellow Republicans want nothing to do with him.
Akin, though, unabashedly mingled with some of his party’s other House members and reiterated the position that has caused heartburn within Republican leadership ranks: He’s full steam ahead with his bid to oust Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.
“I’m not getting out,” Akin told reporters.
He’s even expressing some optimism that later this month, the Republican cash spigots that are now closed to him will open up again.
“I would expect, if that’s going to happen, you’ll see it after about” Sept. 25, the deadline for him to petition Missouri courts to remove his name from the ballot.
Party money had been flowing his way until, by way of explaining his opposition to abortion in all instances, he told a television interviewer in mid-August that `legitimate rape’ rarely results in pregnancy.
The uproar that followed transformed Akin from the likely winner of a key Senate race to someone Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said should get out of the race — as well as the butt of a joke by Karl Rove. The ace Republican strategist quipped to a breakfast gathering of donors at the party’s convention in late August that Akin might be “found mysteriously murdered.”
Rove later called Akin and apologized.
Not all Republicans are giving Akin the stiff-arm.
Representative Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican who talked with Akin for more than 10 minutes tonight on the House floor, said the two discussed college football as well as Akin’s Senate bid. Kingston defended Akin’s decision to stay in the race.
“I’ve been here 20 years and I’ve seen lots of members have the feeding frenzy turn on them,” Kingston said. “You ought to be able to make a mistake — particularly in your rhetoric where you quickly are the first one to apologize for it as he was, then, that should not define you and that should not be unforgivable whether you are Democrat or Republican.”