BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Scott Brown yesterday delivered a strong condemnation of a fellow Republican, calling on Missouri Rep. Todd Akin to withdraw from his Senate campaign after making controversial remarks about “legitimate rape.”
Brown’s Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren also called Akin’s remarks “reprehensible,” but still tried to link the agendas of Brown and Akin as the Massachusetts Senate campaign shifted, for at least the day, from a focus on taxes to women’s reproductive rights and issues of equal pay for men and women.
Akin, who is running for the U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, reportedly told a local television station over the weekend cases of pregnancy among rape victims are “really rare.” The remarks were made in the context of a discussion about the Congressman’s opposition to abortion in almost all cases, and sparked widespread outrage across the country from members of both parties.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said.
Brown, noting his status as a husband and father of two daughters, said he found Akin’s comments “outrageous, inappropriate and wrong.”
“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 for U.S. Senate in Missouri,” Brown said in a statement.
By mid-afternoon yesterday, it appeared that pressure was mounting on Akin to step aside, though the Republican said he had no intention of doing so. Mitt Romney distanced himself and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan from the Congressman’s comments, calling them “inexcusable and insulting.”
Warren, however, appeared determined not to let Brown off the hook, despite the senator’s strong rebuke of Akin.