Todd Akin, with a long history of religious extremism and a hopeful wanting to beat Claire McCaskill out of her senate seat, refuses to step down from running for Missouri senate, even at the request and push to do so by his Republican peers. The GOP even decided not to fund his campaign, in an effort to force him to step down, after his comments concerning rape.
The statement that offended even his Republican peers is as follows:
“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Todd Akin stated that a woman cannot become pregnant from a legitimate rape, which even the Republicans acknowledged as offensive and wrong.
However, Missouri makes it difficult to remove a candidate from the running. Political hopefuls must state that they step down from the running and officially remove his name from the ballot by a certain date, otherwise, even in the case of death, his name stays on the Missouri ballot.
Republican leaders cannot force Akin to quit, and Missouri has one of the clearest, strictest laws in the nation regarding replacing candidates. Akin has until the end of Tuesday to freely step aside, in which case state Republican leaders would select a replacement. After that, he has until Sept. 25 to petition a court to be removed from the ballot. After Sept. 25, Missouri candidate names remain on the ballot, even in the event of death.
Even GOP Vice President Nominee, Paul Ryan, personally encouraged Akin to drop out of the race. Akin firmly stated, “The people of Missouri chose me to be their candidate, and I don’t believe it’s right for party bosses to decide to override those voters. It makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who is going to run, as opposed to the party process.”
Later, he stated that he “might have misspoke” when he made that statement, but that was not enough for the GOP and Akin continues to dig himself deeper into a hole, but refuses to step down from the GOP running, allegedly apologizing for his comment in a video.
“As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong,” said Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). “There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination.”
Even after all the upheaval his comment about rape stirred, he truly believes he can beat McCaskill out of the Senate seat, especially after offering an apology, saying he misspoke about rape. However, Right Wing Watch stated that he did not misspeak, but was speaking for the Anti-Abortion movement.
Akin is strong in his views and beliefs that his political campaign is a mission from God. Therefore, he will not step down from the Senate race. His whole campaign is driven by that belief, according to the New York Times.
He is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America and often accuses liberals of trying to remove God from the public sphere, because they hate God.
In 2008, he sponsored a bill called “The National Year of the Bible,” which promoted a greater recognition of the Ten Commandments.
It was “appropriate to recognize a creator, God, whose blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the very source of American freedom,” Mr. Akin, 65, said in a radio interview. “And that part of the message I feel is missing” from the campaign, he said, adding, “That’s the reason why we’re going to continue. Because I believe there is a cause here.”
In fact, his website even shows that he runs his campaign on that belief and that he received a Masters in Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary of Missouri, in 1984. His website states, “In that world of mudslinging, empty promises, and scrambling for power, Todd’s humility and unswerving devotion to God and country shine clearly.”
His campaign website is full of such statements and under life issues, he is clearly Pro-Life, by stating, “Our founders understood that life is a fundamental right granted to us by our Creator and that the government’s role is to protect this right.”
Akin is also committed to building a strong military, believing that it leads to a strong economy, while he blames liberals from removing God, and placing gays in the military. He wants to reinstated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and fight against the Obama Administration’s efforts for military chaplains to perform gay marriages.
Consistently fighting to protect our military from the liberal agenda in Washington. In my role on the House Armed Services Committee, I helped lead the fight against repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. While liberals want to remove all religion from the military, I have led the fight against the Obama Administration’s efforts to get military chaplains to perform gay marriages on bases across the country.
The Minutemen endorse him, as well as the Missouri’s Right to Life PAC, David Barton, and Phyllis Schlafly.
Despite the GOP pulling funds from his campaign, Akin insists he will run on grassroots funding and his faith. He truly believes that his faith will help him defeat McCaskill, even without the GOP funding his campaign.
Mr. Akin’s defiance and insistence that even without the establishment’s support, he can defeat the incumbent Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill, in a race that could decide the balance of power in the Senate was indicative of his nearly quarter-century in politics in which he regularly embraced the underdog role, relying on grass-roots support and his faith to power him through.
Akin even wrote a short brochure as a testimony to his Christian faith, aiming it at Evangelical Christians, in an effort to gain their votes and support. It is also believed that his ads concerning prayer and his various statement of faith, may have aided him in getting the votes from Conservatives in Missouri.
Although Brunner also emphasized his participation in Christian mission trips, Akin has a long-established base among evangelical Christians. He had the endorsement of more than 100 pastors, including one of the nation's most famous pastors-turned-politicians, former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Akin also printed a special brochure, titled "The Story of a Sinner Saved by Grace," aimed particularly at churchgoers. In it, Akin described how he accepted Christ as his savior, gave up career ambitions as an engineer to attend seminary, served on the board of Missouri Right to Life and home-schooled his six children with his wife, Lulli. He said God had called him to work in government and run for the Senate.
According to Jeff Smith, a former Democratic state senator in Missouri, Mr. Akin believes that “‘God called me to run’ — that’s the way he thinks. I think he thinks it’s his destiny, and so you’re going to have to get somebody pretty high up there — or, in his mind, pretty close to God — to push him out.”
Akin is a six-term congressman, who is also part of a network of home schooling parents. He and his wife home school all six of their children.
According to Rick Mathes, of the Mission Gate Prison Ministry, who serves with Akin on the prison ministry advisory board, Akin’s faith drives his political career and “He wouldn’t violate his beliefs if you shot him.” He added that he and Mr. Akin, who participates in Bible studies and prayer groups, are “far to the right” of people like Rush Limbaugh, who Missouri senate recently honoured with a bust in the State capitol, as they allegedly locked out the Democrats during the ceremony.
Also, according to Mathes, Akin believes that “Americaneeds to be returned to their Judeo-Christian roots”.
"For the state I love, I hope this is a moment where everyone who hasn't been paying close attention, um, this statement is kind of a window into Todd Akin's mind," McCaskill said on Morning Joe.
"It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape," said McCaskill. "The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive."
Most of Akin’s campaign surrounds religious belief and the people he connects most strongly with, according to Dave Robertson, a political science professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, are religious conservatives.
According to Think Progress, Akin also has ties to a Christian Supremacist group, as well as influenced by Reverend D. James Kennedy, a minister who spent his life organizing a movement dedicated to reorganizing the American government along radically conservative evangelical lines, and mentions “five things you should know about Akin” in a previous article.
Think Progress stated that Kennedy is a leading advocate of a variant of dominionism.
Kennedy is widely believed to be a leading advocate for a variant of dominionism, (roughly) the idea that the American government should be run according to Christian, biblical lines. “It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of ‘Christian Supremacists’ who seek to ‘reclaim America for Christ’ and turn the U.S. into a Christian nation guided by their strange notions of biblical law,” Abraham Foxman, the President of the Anti-Defamation League, explains.
Indeed, the Reverend has called the US a Christian nation that should be governed by Christians, sought to “rebuild America based on the Bible,” and suggested that Darwinism was responsible for the Holocaust.
Accordingly, Akin co-sponsored a resolution “that “honors Dr. Kennedy’s lifetime of service and sacrifice to his God, his country, [and] the ideals of the Christian faith.” Think Progress adds that Akin “amplifies” Kennedy’s “hateful rhetoric” concerning marriage, Liberals hating God, and Liberals as socialists.
Think Progress also summarizes five important things about Akin, as follows:
1. Akin believes Medicare is unconstitutional. In a set of remarks that also questioned the validity of climate science, Akin asserted that providing healthcare for the elderly is unconstitutional, saying “I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care.” He also called for a repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows voters, rather than their state legislatures, to choose who will represent them in the Senate.
2. Akin said that “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.” Akin once claimed, after an NBC broadcast accidentally omitted “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, that the network intentionally took it out as part of a “systematic effort to try to separate our faith and God” because “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.” Despite a strong backlash from religious leaders, Akin refused to apologize and doubled down on his remarks.
3. Akin is one of the most anti-gay GOP members of the House. According to a Think Progress analysis, Akin is one of the seven leading sponsors of anti-gay legislation in Congress, which perhaps follows from his belief that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.” Akin has focused on gay members of the military, pushing legislation that would protect soldiers who chose to harass and bully their LGBT colleagues. He also attempted to block funding for the military unless the Defense of Marriage Act was used to block marriage equality on military bases.
4. Akin called recent legislation streamlining the student loan process a “state three cancer of socialism.” During the debt ceiling negotiations in 2010, Akin referred to President Obama as “a flaming socialist,” presumably because his massive concessions to GOP priorities weren’t quite massive enough for Akin’s tastes. He has also suggested that recent legislation streamlining the student loan process has contributed to America’s “stage three cancer of socialism.”
5. Akin wants the United States to withdraw from the UN. He advocated for full withdrawal from the international organization during a recent bus tour, according to a report by Chesterfield Patch.
Akin truly believes he is on a mission from God and allegedly has ties with dominionism, with many of his ads professing his beliefs, along with prayer, praying “for hope in a real change”.
Even after Ryan calling Akin and asking him to drop out of the running for Senate, Akin insisted that the race is not about him, but rather about principles that have nothing to do with politics and what Missourians want.
He said he replied that “I was going to be looking at this very seriously.” But he said that ultimately his decision “was not about me” but about representing the citizens of Missouri.
“My message was one of standing on principle, not politics,” Akin said of his original appeal to Missouri voters in the Republican primary. “So this was a decision by the citizens of our state, not by party bosses.”
Ryan does not plan to talk to Akin again.
On the Today Show, Akin stated again that the election is not about him or his ego.
“This is not about me. This is not about my ego. But it is about the voters of the state of Missouri,” Akin said. “I believe they stand with me on a whole host of issues.”
He even ignored Romney and the Tea Party, who also asked him to step down, with McCaskill stating that the Republicans should not attempt to overturn Missouri’s choice concerning her running mate. The National Republican Senate Committee questioned her motives, stating, "It should not be lost on anyone that some of the only voices not calling for Congressman Akin to do the right thing and step aside are Claire McCaskill and the leaders of the pro-abortion movement. Senator McCaskill knows that the only way she wins re-election is if Todd Akin is her opponent in November.”
Among the big-name Republicans asking Akin to quit are his would-be colleagues, including Missouri's junior senator Roy Blunt, who issued a joint statement together with former Missouri U.S. senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth, and Jim Talent.
"The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside," they wrote.
In refusing to step down, Akin plans to rally conservatives to a campaign focused on abortion. He believes that abortion is an important issue that both parties are ignoring and is asking for help "to fight party bosses".