*** NOTE: We've revamped our afternoon Slatest newsletter to deliver a text-heavy recap of the day's top stories to our subscribers' inboxes. Monday's edition, the first under the new format, is below. You can sign up to receive it here. ***
PRESSING ON: Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican who suggested over the weekend that "legitimate rape" rarely leads to pregnancy, is vowing to continue on with his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, despite being pummeled from all sides for his rather questionable grasp of how the female body works.
"I'm not a quitter," Akin told Mike Huckabee on his radio show Monday. "We all make mistakes. ... The many people who supported me know that when you make a mistake what you need to do is say you're sorry."
The congressman later took to Twitter to urge his backers to donate to his campaign—something he'll likely need that much more given reports that the national GOP apparatus won't be opening its wallet. "I am in this race to win," he tweeted Monday afternoon as speculation about his possible departure continued to mount. "We need a conservative Senate."
BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS!: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both took the opportunity to blast Akin for his tin-eared defense of his no-exceptions opposition to abortion.
Romney to NRO: "Congressman Akin's comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong. ... Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”
Obama at White House presser: “Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing, qualifying and slicing what qualifies as rape doesn’t make sense to me and doesn’t make sense to the American people. What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, the majority of whom are men, making health-care decisions on behalf of women.”
Analysis From Around the Web:
—Over on The XX Factor, Laura Helmuth explains that despite Akin's claims that he "misspoke" during the interview, the reality of the situation is that his remarks represent his larger worldview:
"In case anybody missed this dig at the 'no means no' crowd, 'legitimate rape' is a coded phrase meant to distinguish between a stranger attacking you in a parking garage, or, say, your date or your youth pastor doing the same. If you’re tipsy or wearing a short skirt, it’s not rape-rape, etc."
—Politico Pro explains that as much as Romney may want to distance himself from Akin's comments, it may not be so easy for Paul Ryan to do the same.
—Salon's Irin Carmon argues that Akin was right about one thing: Rape exceptions are wrong; you either believe in bodily autonomy, or you don't.
Happy Monday and welcome to the new Slatest afternoon newsletter, where we're chained to our computer so you don't have to be. In addition to the new PM email blast, we've also tweaked the Slatest blog so we can better serve as your news-day companion. Read more on the changes here.
LUCKY BREAK: Rep. Kevin Yoder may want to send his fellow House Republican a thank-you note. If it weren't for Akin's comments, Yoder may very well have found himself the biggest loser of Monday's news cycle thanks to an ill-advised skinny dip in Israel's holy waters last summer.
Politico explains: "The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff—and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses." The naked lawmaker in question? Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder.
What's So Special About the Sea of Galilee? We're glad you asked. #SlatestMiniExplainer
AN ALL-BOY'S CLUB NO MORE: The Augusta National Golf Club announced Monday that it will break its 80-year run of all-male membership by accepting two women this fall: Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. We're guessing you know who the former is, but if you're looking for a quick rundown of the latter, we've got you covered (Spoiler alert: She's rich.):
CONFESSIONS OF A ROMNEY WIFE: Campbell Brown writes about what it's like to be a journalist and have your husband work for the GOP candidate: "I never thought I was harboring a dark secret. But if you live in the overlapping world of politics and media, as I am learning, anything less than full transparency can potentially do you in."
RIP TONY SCOTT: The man who brought us Top Gun and Days of Thunder, among other Hollywood action films, jumped to his death late Sunday. All signs point to suicide.
Brain Tumor? An unnamed source tells ABC News that Scott was suffering from an inoperable brain tumor.
Women Can Kick Ass, Too: The XX Factor's Alyssa Rosenberg points out that Scott did more than just create vehicles for male-action stars, he was also responsible for a number of fascinating, unsettling roles for women.
RIP Phyllis Diller: TMZ with the scoop.
From The C-SPAN Fault: Watch a wonky-but-well-spoken Paul Ryan talk about Medicaid as a 25-Year-old House staffer.
That does it for us, for now. Enjoy the rest of your Monday and we'll see you back here tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, check out the new and improved Slatest here.
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