With activities on the first day of the Republican National Convention postponed, discussion continued to focus on the comments last week by U.S. Senate Candidate Todd Akin about abortions in cases of rape.
Two prominent Missouri Republicans say they believe a Republican can still beat Senator Claire McCaskill in November. They continue to call on Akin to withdraw and make way for some other candidate.
Senator Roy Blunt says, “I think we win the Senate race if Todd is not the candidate.” Blunt says Akin, “is a good man who needs to think about the impact he’s having on the greater national interest.”
Former senator Kit Bond says, “Not only if (Akin’s on the ballot) is the Senate seat gone, he endangers the whole ticket.”
Bond says of Akin’s comments, “I have been a supporter of the right to life position … but what he said was not only insensitive, but wrong. He’s apologized but it’s still there.”
Bond says based on the latest polls, “(Akin) has actually brought Barack Obama up to lead Mitt Romney in Missouri, and I understand they’re going to feature Todd Akin in the Democratic convention as a means to get the nation to vote Democratic.”
Blunt says the Akin situation is detracting from debate of more pressing issues in the Senate race, and other races, like, “Jobs, and energy and healthcare and the things that Governor Romney has said this should be about.”
Some still support the embattled GOP Senate candidate
Not all Republicans want to see Akin withdraw. Several continue to proudly wear Akin stickers in Tampa.
St. Joseph conservative blogger Ellis Cross is one of them. “I’m supporting him because it’s the voice of the people. It was the vote of the people. Something has to be sacred in this country and I would hope that the voice of the people would be sacred.”
Cross says Akin misspoke when he suggested that doctors have told him that when a woman is raped her body has ways to prevent a pregnancy from occuring. “I wish what he had done was say something along the line, ‘There is a theory out there,’ and quote the doctor … that would have saved him a lot of embarassment.” Cross adds, “I do believe he sincerely has apologized. He certainly has apologized enough for me.”
Cross dismisses the idea that Akin staying in the race hurts the Republican party, saying instead that Akin withdrawing would hurt the party by dividing its vote. “They were saying, ‘You step down or we’re going to have a write-in candidate.’ Well as soon as we have a write-in candidate, guess what? Half of them vote for Akin, half of them vote for the write-in and we get Claire McCaskill again … for the good of the party we ought to get behind him.”
Republicans on both sides of the Akin debate hope the return to the business of the Convention today will take some attention off of that issue. Most events on Monday were postponed due to concerns over Tropical Storm Isaac.