Republicans moved quickly on Monday to distance themselves from Representative Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Missouri, after his comments that women’s bodies can prevent them from getting pregnant from “legitimate” rape, obviating the need for an abortion.
The groundswell of opposition became so intense that Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, implied in a statement that Mr. Akin should consider ending his Senate campaign.
“Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive and indefensible,” Mr. Cornyn said. “I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader from Kentucky, also suggested strongly in a statement that Mr. Akin should consider stepping aside. Calling the congressman’s comments “totally inexcusable” and “flat wrong,” Mr. McConnell said, “I believe he should take time with his family to consider whether this statement will prevent him from effectively representing our party in this critical election.”
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