24 Hours for Todd Akin

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 20 2012 2:55 PM

24 Hours for Todd Akin

Mitch McConnell:

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.
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John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible.  I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next twenty-four hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.

Mitt Romney is also calling for Akin to figure something out in "24 hours." Why that long? At 5 p.m. tomorrow, if a candidate withdraws from a Missouri federal election, his party can meet and pick a new nominee. If that doesn't happen, as Jen Rubin explains, a court order can get Akin off the ballot between August 22 and September 25.

A serious question: When was the last incidence of a candidate quitting a race simply because of something he said? Not something he said to cover up a crime. Something he said that's in line with the arguments of many people in his party's base, but sounds horrendous out loud?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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