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Democrats seek to tie Akin to House candidates

By Henry C. Jackson and Kristen Wyatt

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:21 a.m. HST, Aug 22, 2012

DENVER >> Meet the newest campaign issue for House Democrats: Todd Akin.

From Colorado to New Hampshire to Illinois, Democrats already are using the incendiary comments about rape made by the Missouri congressman and Republican Senate candidate as a political bludgeon. In interviews, news releases and tweets, they've blasted Akin for saying victims of "legitimate rape" are able to naturally prevent pregnancy and tried to tie their opponents to legislation he's supported.

Those moves might only be the beginning, as Akin has so far refused to drop out of the race despite pleas from top Republicans, including GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and the widespread condemnation of his remarks.

"People are disgusted and appalled," said Joe Miklosi, a Democratic congressional candidate in suburban Denver, who began tying his opponent, GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, to Akin within hours of learning about his comments this past Sunday.

Miklosi sent a tweet that read, "Mike Coffman and Todd Akin have been fighting side by side against women in Congress," and posted a video online included footage of Akin praising Coffman on the House floor.

Coffman responded by calling for Akin to leave the race and decrying his rape comments as "wrong, inappropriate and hurtful to women across the country."

It's a scene repeated in House races nationwide, as Akin's comments on rape are playing a role in more than dozen House races in battleground states — particularly those in which the incumbents joined Akin last year in co-sponsoring a resolution that would have redefined rape as "forcible rape."

Most Democrats and women's groups objected to such language, because it suggested there are different severities of rape.

In New Hampshire, Annie Kuster rapped one of the Democrats' top targets, GOP Rep. Charlie Bass, saying she was "disappointed" Bass hadn't yet called for Akin to leave the Senate race. Bass quickly did so. In Illinois, another Democratic challenger, Cheri Bustos, called on her opponent, GOP Rep. Bobby Schilling, to return a $2,000 donation from Akin. Schilling did so and issued a statement expressing his disgust with Akin's remarks.

"As a father, a husband and a close friend to people who have been scarred by the evils of rape, I could never stand with someone who said something so contrary to our basic human values," he said.

In Wisconsin, Democrat Pat Kreitlow had made an issue of GOP Rep. Sean Duffy's support for legislation defining "forcible rape" even before Akin's comments. That criticism now has new life, Kreitlow said.

"People are simply amazed there are elected officials who would take these positions, to redefine rape," he said. "We were hearing about it in Wisconsin before Akin said this, and of course we're hearing a lot more about it now."

Duffy, meanwhile, followed the path of other Republicans in calling for Akin to drop his Missouri Senate bid and repudiating his comments.

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peanutgallery wrote:
Anything Demnocrats can do to "NOT" talk about the economy, jobs, the national debt, and oh yeah; Obama's chances for re-election. This guys comments wre totally out to lunch, but linkage? Really? You guys are so transparently desperate, it's incredible. Let's try and get back to remembering what this election is all about. It's about America. It's about who will be the leader of the free world, not some cheezeball from Missouri who desperately wants to dip his beak, like so many others.
on August 22,2012 | 06:57AM
likewise wrote:
You are totally right. Why is it okay to link Akin to GOP candidates that have already repudiated him and called him to withdraw his candidacy but it's not okay to link Obama with Jermiah Wright, in who's church he sat in for over ten years? Hypocrisy much?
on August 22,2012 | 07:11AM
serious wrote:
Remember Obama's campaign pledge that he would join a church near the WH? This must be an election year--last Sunday he finally did it. Let HIM run on his record!!!!
on August 22,2012 | 08:06AM
Kapakahi wrote:

Do you really think it is the Democrats who keep driving the discussion back to social issues? When the wave of Tea Party candidates ran for office, they promised to make "jobs" the central issue. Instead, they started introducing bills, not just in Congress, but all across the country, restricting abortion rights.

Social issues are "red meat" to the conservative base of the Republican Party. Frankly, the Republicans do better arousing the voters on those issues than on the economy. True, the economy is stagnant and job creation has been lagging, but the GOP cannot shake its image as caring more about the rich than the working stiff. And Mittens Romney does not help you with that image problem. So YOUR politicians, like Akin, are more comfortable warning about immigrants, about the "sacredness of the innocent unborn" and the sanctity of marriage, than about the economy. How many years do a large swath of your GOP base waste on Obama's birth certificate? But wasn't that fun?

For Republicans to win elections, you have to move beyond your core group of angry, aging white men and business-owners. That's why YOUR people use the social issues to rally support from the middle and working class voters.

on August 22,2012 | 11:38AM
kainalu wrote:
The Republican primaries and caucases have nominated a moderate-conservative to run for the Presidency. Meanwhile, nationalist tea-partiers have infiltrated the ranks of the GOP, and have the conservative-base in their corner. OOPS! Too funny. Today's GOP isn't the same GOP we had 10-years ago. Obama carried the women's vote last go-around, and it appears that Akin has assured he wins them thig go-around too.
on August 22,2012 | 08:21AM
Pacej001 wrote:
And to cement the women's vote, you geniuses have selected serial womanizer/harasser, Bill Clinton for a prominent speaking role. Good move and thanks. The GOP's move to make Aikin a Pariah will gain, not loose women's votes.
on August 22,2012 | 08:42AM
EightOEight wrote:
Wishful thinking. That's not what the recent polls say.
on August 22,2012 | 10:38AM
EightOEight wrote:
It's laughable that the GOP is trying to distance itself from Akin considering it's legislative history on women's rights, especially within the last two years. Akin is not the rogue the GOP is trying to paint him to be. They're just throwing him under the bus to get the spotlight off the GOP misogyny agenda. Under the "personhood" bill that Ryan co-sponsored, Romney's sons would've been considered murderers because they used in vitro fertilization to have children...not all fertilized eggs cultivated result in pregnancies.
on August 22,2012 | 11:20AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Yeah, you guys better hope the discussion can be turned to abortion or free birth control or anything other than the existential problems that the country faces (that Obama is doing essentially nothing about). I can see a whole democrat convention aimed at social issues, leaving no time for addressing our catastrophic national debt, uncontrolled escalation of health care and other entitlement costs, or the fact that unemployment is trending up/growth trending down. Nooooo, wouldn't want to bring those little items up or the fact that the president/democrat party have no credible plan to deal with them. Abortion/women's rights 24/7, that's the ticket. Meanwhile, here's a news flash for you. Women also care about jobs, the economy and the national debt, plus, the Obama's national lead (and swing state lead) is trending down (RCP averages right now give Obama a 1.5% edge). Something's happening, and Romney's financial edge is going to make it happen faster. So, if there's any wishful thinking going on it's that this issue is going to turn the tied for Obama.
on August 22,2012 | 11:52AM
EightOEight wrote:
There's nothing stopping Romney and Ryan from talking about jobs and the economy now. Why aren't they? They need somebody to hold their hands?
on August 22,2012 | 12:08PM
Pacej001 wrote:
But they are talking about jobs and the economy, along with a full on attack on Obama's medicare/Obamacare problem. Looks like they are doing pretty well on the latter.
on August 22,2012 | 12:18PM
EightOEight wrote:
The Romney/Ryan propaganda will be rebutted in the debates. I can't wait.
on August 22,2012 | 12:35PM
Pacej001 wrote:
I can't wait for the debates, either. There so many gaping holes in Obama's campaign rhetoric and record that it should be fun, although I wouldn't under estimate Obama. The VP debate, on the other hand, should be even better, with Biden showcasing his best qualities. Wish Ryan were debating Obama.
on August 22,2012 | 01:38PM
EightOEight wrote:
Oh, yeah, Republicans have been really productive passing jobs legislation themselves...really. More like obstructing. They've passed more anti-women than jobs legislation in the past two years. You think women only think of the economy in terms of jobs? When theyre being beat up, raped, abandoned, forced to have children they don't want, not being paid equitably, and so on...that affects their economic well being. The GOP ignorance (or denial) of this is precisely why they're losing the gender war for votes.
on August 22,2012 | 12:30PM
Pacej001 wrote:
If your last sentence is correct, why does Romney poll ahead of Obama with married women, about ten points ahead? They're not worried about rape, pay, forced childbearing (your implications that Republicans/conservatives somehow support these things is a crock)? I think two things: Single women, many in financial trouble, think Obama, the great redistributer, is more likely to provide the welfare programs they need than Romney and that married women are much more likely voters than their single contemporaries. If the latter is the case, the Obama's poll advantage among women that actually vote won't be as great.
on August 22,2012 | 03:14PM
EightOEight wrote:
From a NY Times article in March: "At a closed-door Senate Republican lunch on Tuesday, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska sternly warned her colleagues that the party was at risk of being successfully painted as antiwoman — with potentially grievous political consequences in the fall, several Republican senators said Wednesday." Do your homework, Pace. I don't have the time to educate you. Your typical conservative stereotype of single and poor women is so ignorant I'm not wasting any more of my time on you with this. Have a nice rest of the day.
on August 22,2012 | 03:35PM
9ronboz wrote:
10 years ago the USA had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash .... Now they have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.
on August 22,2012 | 10:45AM
EightOEight wrote:
Cry me a river. Go talk to the GOP hypocrites in Congress first.
on August 22,2012 | 11:22AM
peanutgallery wrote:
I don't thinnk many women are as ignorant as you and Obama make them out to be. If you bought into this bs sandwich, you need to lighten up on the Kool-Aid
on August 22,2012 | 11:40AM
EightOEight wrote:
The polls show a double-digit lead among women voters in favor of Obama. The ignorant women you refer to are the GOP Barbie dolls and Stepford wives. Maybe it's time for you to get off the sauce.
on August 22,2012 | 12:41PM
Pacej001 wrote:
A stupid insult to our intelligent, thinking wives and friends.
on August 22,2012 | 01:38PM
EightOEight wrote:
No stupider than the insulting and condescending generalizations made against Dems, particularly by the peanutbrain.
on August 22,2012 | 01:53PM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on August 22,2012 | 10:31AM
EightOEight wrote:
Yeah, there's a lot of ammo in the GOP cesspool...Thanks!
on August 22,2012 | 10:39AM
Kapakahi wrote:
Why frame this as if it were a campaign gimmick for the Dems to do this? Why not turn it around and say "Akin Statements May Taint GOP Candidates"? There is nothing contrived about linking Akin to his Republican colleagues. Even if they may not speak in the same terms as Akin, most of them vote the same way on abortion. And the Republicans have approved a draft platform which they will undoubtedly adopt at the upcoming convention, which calls for an amendment to the US Constitution which would ban all abortions, in vitro fertilization and some forms of contraception.

Akin is an embarrassment because he didn't censor himself well enough, not because he votes any different from the other Republicans. And there is nothing gimmicky about the Democrats driving the point home.

What I find "gimmicky," was the orchestrated rapid response network which sprung into action and provided all GOP senate candidates with boilerplate language for distancing themselves, on cue, from Akin. Boy, did they want to dump him quickly. Akin called their bluff and I expect to see that GOP money flow back into the election if it continues to be a close race. When it does, can Democrats point THAT out as well? Or will that be too gimmicky?

on August 22,2012 | 11:29AM
peanutgallery wrote:
We get it. You love Obama. You support the mantra: "Vote Democrat becasue it's easier than working for a living, and when we run out of money Obama will just raise taxes on the rich, again." As the Guiness boys say: "BRILLIANT" You're a regular rocket scientist.
on August 22,2012 | 11:43AM
EightOEight wrote:
You believe that crock about Obama doing away with the work requirements under the 96 welfare reform act? That would only be you, all the hacks on Fox, Beck, Limbaugh, and your eccentric millionaires. You're a regular peanutbrain.
on August 22,2012 | 12:52PM
false wrote:
I don't "love Obama." I have a lot of disappointments in the guy. But he is head and shoulders above the Insane Clown Posse you guys were "speed-dating" for many months before being force to settle for Richie Rich as your nominee.

If you believe Obama's proposals can be boiled down to the mantra you are chanting, you are not qualified to talk in polite society about either politics or economic policy.

I am not a "rocket scientist." But my father actually was and we were all raised to place a high value on reason, evidence and the scientific method to arrive at our understanding of the world. We had the naive hope that well-educated citizens could come together in the town square and reason together, through point and counter-point and collectively arrive at a better understanding of the challenges facing us.

Then Fox News happened and the Republcian base went insane, overthrowing the more reaasonable, moderate leaders among them and requiring all theri presidential candidates to deny science when discussing climate change, embrace Creationism over evolution as the underlying logic behind biology, and to claim that cutting taxes on the rich will balance the budget and grow the economy.

So here we are on a technologically sophisticated platform for having such a discussion and the liberal minded people are compelled to defend the values of the Enlightenment against the forces of reaction, superstition and greed. My, what progress we have made since my father first embraced the potential of science.

on August 22,2012 | 02:31PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Feel better? Pretty pompous, overall. "liberal minded people are compelled to defend the values of the Enlightenment against the forces of reaction, superstition ... : Very pompous. Fighting to preserve the light. The most impressive thing about your post is producing it in paragraph form (how'd you do that). So, you're saying that only the liberal left is capable of reason, that there is nothing on the conservative side for rocket scientists to think about? There's plenty for an open mind to consider. Nothing for a closed one. You imply that only knuckle draggers fail to appreciate the science behind climate change. Counterpoint: several of my liberal friends saw Al Gore's movie and bought the whole climate apocalypse immediately. It was like a religious conversion. No reading. No skepticism. Ready to defend that sanctimonious windbag to the death from the non-believers. So don't tell me that the only place you'll find reason is on the left.
on August 22,2012 | 03:43PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Signs that the Akin "legitimate rape"-d women can't get pregnant remark has no effect on Republican rank and file and conservatives - the Republican Platform Committee, like Akin, supports a platform statement that a ban on abortion, no exceptions, be added to the U.S. Constitution. Other indication that Republicans don't care is that Akin is still leading his Democrat incumbent opponent, albeit by 1 percentage point - 44% to 43% - in Missouri Those two factoids kind of tell you that a stand on banning abortion or nonsensical remarks about the natrual contraception capacity of raped women do not affect the average Republican. For them, Akin is a non-issue. Romney, Paul, and other Republicans who called for Akin to step down, jumped on a non-issue for their electorate. In fact, Missouri supporters of Akin have cried foul on their national leadership and local state Republicans who have spoken against Akin. Where it might be more of a concern is if they hope to garner the independent and disillusioned Dem vote. For Akin, it seems not to have mattered. Money is coming into his campaign fund from rank-and-file Republicans, and he has suffered no visible loss of support amongst Missouri voters. So, this Dem initiative is directed at independents and those disillusioned Dems. Republicans really don't need those outsider votes anyway. Republicans know they will win on their own, with their own people -- who needs independents and disgruntled Dems?
on August 22,2012 | 05:12PM
false wrote:
I like much of what you have written here. But you make a mistake when you focus only on "this Dem initiative." The Dems did not put those words into Akin's mouth. The Dems did not write the constitutional amendments and federal legislation which Republicans are hoping voters will not pay attention to. Akin only said in a crude way what many of his Republican colleagues try to avoid saying publicly. But when one of his closest legislative allies on banning abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, is Paul Ryan, the vice-presidential nominee of your party, you have a serious problem with a lot of voters.

Yes, the Democrats are pointing out the connections. But those connections are there. You cannot expect to profit from mobilizing anti-abortion sentiment on the one hand and run and hide when pro-choice voters object to your plans. The problems of the GOP in this area are not the result of a Democratic conspiracy.

on August 23,2012 | 11:45AM
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