Todd Akin says Claire McCaskill isn't 'ladylike': Another damaging gaffe?

A month after inviting scorn by suggesting that women don't get pregnant from "legitimate rape," Missouri's Republican Senate candidate is in hot water again

Todd Akin during the first debate in the Missouri Senate race on Sept. 21 in Columbia, Mo.: Akin has come under fire for saying that his opponent, Claire McCaskill (D) was not "ladylike" duri
(Image credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Some Republicans have started rallying behind embattled Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin again, more than a month after his claim that "legitimate rape" doesn't cause pregnancy angered legions of women voters and nearly destroyed his campaign. Akin trails Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) by single digits in the latest polls, but he told The Kansas City Star on Thursday that he was confident he would win because his conservative politics were a better fit with Missouri voters. Akin said he could tell McCaskill knew he was a threat because she was more aggressive and less "ladylike" in their debate last week than she had been during her campaign in 2006. Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Democrats' campaign committee, said Akin was "at it again with another comment that's demeaning to women and offensive to all." Has Akin completely undermined his effort to rehabilitate his image and win over women voters?

Yes. The man is hopeless: Akin's latest bit of "casual misogyny might prove especially damaging," says Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel, to Akin and to the Republican Party. It's a huge setback to his effort to "repair his image with female voters" after his "legitimate rape" fiasco. "Either a sexist brain slug from 1955 has taken control" of Akin's mind or he's "one of the most out of touch" fools in politics. GOP leaders responded "with a resounding NO COMMENT," but they're stuck with this guy.

"Todd 'legitimate rape' Akin wishes Claire McCaskill were more ladylike"

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It's time to focus on what matters, not gaffes: "Akin's dumb comment about rape victims and child birth" took the wind from his sails, says Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine, but at this late stage in the race "the fundamentals" are what matters. Akin can help Republicans regain control of the Senate. McCaskill supports ObamaCare, Akin doesn't. Those are the things that matter now, so it's "past time" for the Republican establishment to get over Akin's gaffes and help him win.

"It's past time for the Republican establishment to back Todd Akin"

Akin has a chance, but this doesn't help: With Missouri trending red, McCaskill is vulnerable, says David Dayen at Firedoglake, as Akin's recent recovery in the polls confirms. Still, saying McCaskill wasn't "ladylike" was "just terrible word choice" for a candidate weighed down by his "extremist" anti-abortion views. It's "sure to erode his standing among women" even further. "And if past performance is any guide, this won't be the last time Akin sticks his foot in his mouth."

"Akin: McCaskill not 'ladylike' in debate"

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