Todd Akin is back and he has retracted his apology for saying, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” And where better to rehab his image than on Fox News’ The Kelly File? Oh, sure, host Megyn Kelly asked a few challenging questions but it was clear that her heart – or paycheck – lay in helping him look good. And helping him malign a few Democrats while he was at it.
Akin’s beef seems to be that while he may have used a “poor choice of words” about women, the Democrats are the real women abusers. Also that he has been the victim of media bias that ignores liberal missteps. Kelly helpfully played a few examples of Demcratic faux pas for her viewers: a clip of Joe Biden making insensitive comments about Indians owning convenience stores, then-candidate Barack Obama saying he’s been in 57 states and Senator Harry Reid saying that men “tend to become abusive” when they are out of work. As if any of them were comparable to Akin.
Nevertheless, Akin pointed a finger at the “Democrat party” as “the one that’s chairing the war on women.” Not surprisingly, Akin’s prime targets were Bill and Hillary Clinton. Exhibit A: Bill’s keynote speech at the “Democrat convention” in 2012:
Even if you disregard the Broaddrick claims about being raped, (Bill Clinton) has a long history of sexual abuse and indecency and he is applauded by that convention. And so, I’m thinking to myself - you know, what’s worse, saying a few words or actually having a long history of abusive behavior toward women?
The Washington Post gave a similar accusation from Rand Paul three Pinocchios. Secondly, Clinton has a policy record which is quite pro-women. In fact, Akin’s now-infamous “legitimate rape” comments – were made to support his anti-abortion stance, even in cases of rape. And, of course, suggested women are habitual liars about rape.
But Kelly mostly let it go, sympathetically noting that Akin sees hypocrisy in the treatment of Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke vs. the treatment of Bill Maher (presumably his calling Sarah Palin the C-word).
Then, surprise! Akin went after Hillary Clinton.
What’d she do? She’s getting this guy who’s a rapist off the hook who raped a 12 year-old girl. She knows he’s completely guilty, and so she tears down the credibility of the 12 year-old kid that’s been raped. And then later in an interview, she laughs about it. That’s a Democrat war on women and I believe that it’s not just a media bias, it’s more than that.” He went on to suggest that the media has been protecting “people who are doing wrong.”
Kelly did point out that Bill Clinton denies any sexual abuse or misconduct and that Hillary Clinton has said she was doing her job as a lawyer. But it looked like more of a way of distancing herself from Akin’s comments than any kind of real challenge. After all, pointing a finger at political foes as being anti-women does not exactly make a guy like Akin pro-women.
Later, Akin seemed to flip-flop on his beliefs about “legitimate rape” and Kelly let him. First, she asked if he still believes his claim.
In a word, yes, apparently. Akin said that stress can reduce fertility:
I’m not setting myself up as a medical doctor or anything. …There are a whole series of studies you can look at the different articles on stress and its effect on fertility.
There, Kelly challenged him more forcefully, pointing out that that is not the same thing as saying that stress can cause a miscarriage and that there is nothing to tie the two. She also noted that he seemed to be putting the onus on rape victims.
In the second part of the interview, Akin suggested he had only apologized for political expedience:
It was a tactical question. What are you going to do because people have taken your comment, taken it to an absurd level. They’re saying all kinds of things… I had people working in my campaign that were the product of rape, they were supporting me.
…Here is the point. Nothing I said meant to diminish women. And nothing meant to, to in any way cheapen or lower the seriousness of the crime of rape.
Instead of pinning him down, Kelly all but announced Akin a changed person - despite having said nothing to indicate that. She said, “But you now acknowledge that a woman who is legitimately the victim of rape does not have a medical way of getting rid of …the pregnancy.”
“No, I’ve never believed that,” Akin now said. “…That wasn’t what I was trying to say and I don’t think I did say that. But people perceived that and that’s why I gave the apology.”
Kelly also made a point of noting that Mike Huckabee supports Akin and wrote the foreword for his book. That makes me think that Huckabee is the reason Akin got this mostly friendly platform. Oh, and don't forget that Huckabee made his own obnoxious comments about women's libidos - that he insisted showed his respect and admiration for women.
Watch the interview below and share your thoughts in our comments section.
His lack of knowledge regarding basic physiology is appalling. His trying to play a semantics game is crazy.
But then. . . what can one expect from a GOP neanderthal?