Akin's Biggest Critic? Scott Brown
Many Republicans up for reelection all over the country are concerned that Missouri GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin's continued candidacy could have a negative impact on their campaigns, and over the past few days, a number of Republican senators have called on Akin to step aside. But Scott Brown was the first.
"As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin's comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong," Brown said in a Monday morning statement. "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 US Senate in Missouri."
It was a smart move for the Massachusetts Republican, up for reelection and locked in a close contest with Democrat Elizabeth Warren, to swiftly and aggressively move beyond the Republicans who were at that point merely condemning Akin's comments. In Massachusetts, where Democrats dominate, he can't afford to be linked to extreme views like those Akin espoused. And Warren, who can't afford to miss an opportunity to tie Brown to the national GOP, has been equally aggressive in trying to tie her opponent to Akin in the days after his controversial comments on rape.
Despite Brown's quick call for the Missouri congressman to step aside in the Senate contest, Warren released a statement Monday tying Brown to Akin and the "Republican agenda," citing her opponent's support for the Blunt amendment and his opposition to equal pay legislation.
"I understand that Scott Brown and other Republicans want to pretend Todd Akin is an isolated individual, but he is clearly in line with the Republican agenda," she said. "The agenda of the Republican Party is to limit access to health care services. It's to deny women equal pay for equal work. It's to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. And it's to select as a vice presidential nominee someone who co-sponsored legislation with Rep Akin to redefine 'rape.'"
On Tuesday, Brown further distanced himself, sending a letter to Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus asking the party to be more inclusive on the issue of abortion while touting his own pro-choice credentials.
"Media reports indicate that the Platform Committee will consider draft language opposing a woman's right to choose and supporting a constitutional amendment banning abortion," Brown wrote. "I believe this is a mistake because it fails to recognize the views of pro-choice Republicans like myself."