It goes on. Missouri Republican Senate nominee Rep. Todd Akin told radio host and former marathoner Mike Huckabee today that he has no plans to, to borrow a phrase, shut that whole thing down.
This is wonderful news for President Obama, who in addition to being undeniably one of the greatest vote-getters in the history of American politics also may possess one of the largest electoral rabbit’s feet in history.
Akin's continued run in the wake of his comments about "legitimate rape" and pregnancy means that Democrats get to amplify further one of their favorite arguments: that the Republican Party is inherently anti-woman, structurally conditioned to lack sympathy toward women’s issues, permanently stuck in an ideological time machine and headed for a political black hole. That’s the reason why just about every Republican who holds elected office — or ever hopes to — has been going around for two days feverishly violating Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment.
-- Jim O'Sullivan
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Akin Tells Huckabee He’s Staying in Race
[CNN, 8/21/12] Hours before the 6 p.m. EST deadline for Akin to withdraw easily from the Missouri Senate race, he told Mike Huckabee in an interview Tuesday afternoon that he plans to continue his campaign.
Doctor Behind Akin Rape Theory was 2007 Romney Surrogate NEW!
[Los Angeles Times, 8/21/12] Dr. Jack Willke, a longtime leader of the antiabortion movement and the leading proponent of the theory that pregnancy resulting from rape is rare, served as a Mitt Romney surrogate in 2007.
Romney Calls for Akin’s Exit from Senate Race NEW!
[National Journal, 8/21/12] A day after urging Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., to consider the advisability of continuing his campaign for the Senate, Mitt Romney on Tuesday flat-out called for his exit from the race.
Joe Biden Will Be in Tampa During RNC
[Washington Post, 8/21/12] Following rumors that Vice President Joe Biden would be travelling to Tampa during the Republican National Convention, the White House has officially confirmed plans for a trip next Monday and Tuesday
RNC Chair: Bring on Biden
[Buzzfeed, 8/21/12] RNC Chair Reince Priebus is apparently unruffled by Vice President Joe Biden’s planned trip to Tampa during the Republican convention. “The nice thing about going first is that whatever they do to us, we can do ten times over to them,” Priebus said.
GOP Platform Could Boost Attacks On Romney’s Abortion Stance
[National Journal, 8/21/12] The Romney campaign has tried to clarify its position on abortion to distance the nominee from Akin, saying “A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.” But don’t expect attacks on Romney’s abortion stance to ebb, especially considering the now-glaring absence of a rape exception in the GOP platform.
Republicans Reject Proposal to Endorse Same-Sex Civil Unions
[CNN, 8/21/12] The GOP Platform Committee rejected a proposal to include formal support of same-sex civil unions in the party’s platform on Tuesday. A 31-year-old Rhode Island delegate originally proposed the amendment.
'Clinging' Makes a Comeback
[Washington Post, 8/21/12] Then-Sen. Obama was lambasted by Republicans in 2008 for saying at a fundraiser that some voters are “clinging to their guns and religion.” Well, Paul Ryan is bringing it back, resurrecting the attack at a steel company southwest of Pittsburgh, Pa., on Tuesday.
Romney Taxes Enriched Foreign Governments at U.S. Expense
[Huffington Post, 8/20/12] Romney sought and received $787,455 in foreign tax credits from the U.S. Treasury to cover his tax payments to other nations in 2008, raising questions about the sources of his foreign income.
Sununu: Mitt Romney’s Honey Badger
[National Review, 8/21/12] John H. Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor and pugnacious surrogate, has a persona that is “part Archie Bunker and part schoolteacher,” as Robert Costa writes. For his part, Sununu, a frequent fixture on cable news, describes himself as the “crazy uncle” to the campaign.
Liberal Groups Target Koch Brothers With $500K Ad Buy
[Politico, 8/21/12] In perhaps the most concerted effort by Democrats to make an issue of the Kochs, or any of the emergent class of conservative mega-donors, a liberal nonprofit group is launching a long-term, multimillion-dollar advertising campaign targeting the conservative brothers.
[Weekly Standard, 8/21/12] For Ryan’s reforms (as revised by Romney, of course) to be enacted if their ticket is chosen in the fall, his army of the 87 GOP House freshman elected in 2010 must be reelected in November.
Romney Showing His Mormon Faith
[Boston Globe, 8/21/12] Romney’s decision to open up his church visits to the press this weekend was the most notable in a series of recent efforts to humanize the candidate by revealing more about how his faith has shaped him and his policies. The campaign is expected to encourage more emphasis on Romney’s Mormonism at next week’s convention.
Romney Aide Details Convention Strategy
[Boston Herald, 8/21/12] In a move meant to highlight Obama’s recent negative attacks, Romney strategists say the campaign will push a message of optimism and hope for the future over the next few weeks.
Afghanistan War Makes Rare Appearance in 2012 Race
[The Hill, 8/21/12] Neither Obama nor Romney has much to benefit from talking about the war in Afghanistan, despite an uptick in violence against U.S. forces: The war is unpopular, and the two candidates’ positions on withdrawal are similar. But both made rare public statements on Monday about the conflict.