Saxby Chambliss to Todd Akin: ‘Go home’

Macon — Even as Missouri congressman Todd Akin vowed one more time to stay in his race for U.S. Senate, another of his would-be colleagues urged him to leave the race.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss had just finished his gig with the annual Georgia Chamber of Commerce gathering here. At the tail end of an interview on sequestration, I brought up the topic of Akin, whose Republican Senate campaign has collapsed since he asserted – in a televised interview – that women who are “legitimately raped” rarely become pregnant, and thus need no exemption from abortion bans.

Do you have any advice for Akin? I asked Georgia’s senior senator.

Chambliss heaved a sigh and said:

”Yeah. ‘Go home and spend time with your children.’ He needs to withdraw, period. That’s a seat that should be our seat. Todd’s a nice guy. But in politics, you can say the wrong thing – and he said the wrong thing. I don’t care how hard he attempts to put the genie back in the bottle, you just can’t do it.”

The Missouri Senate seat, now occupied by Democrat Claire McCaskill, could determine which party controls the chamber next January. Chambliss has a personal stake in the outcome. Should Republicans seize control, he’s in line to become the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Here’s the latest AP report on Akin, who has spent the last two days apologizing:

ST. LOUIS — Rep. Todd Akin renewed his vow to carry on with his embattled Senate campaign Tuesday, even as a key deadline loomed to withdraw from the race over his comments that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.”

Akin, who has been frantically trying to salvage his once-promising bid against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, insisted the uproar surrounding his remarks was an overreaction to misspeaking “one word in one sentence on one day.”

For the second time in two days, Akin went on the radio show hosted by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to say he planned to stay in the race, despite constant urging from prominent members of his own party to step aside.

“I guess my question is: Is there a matter of some justice here?” Akin asked. After his original statement, “all of a sudden, overnight, everybody decides, ‘Well, Akin can’t possibly win.’ Well, I don’t agree with that.”

The race has long been targeted by the GOP as crucial to regaining control of the Senate.

“I hadn’t done anything morally or ethically wrong, as sometimes people in politics do,” Akin said. “We do a lot of talking, and to get a word in the wrong place, still, that’s not a good thing to do, or to hurt anybody that way, it does seem like a little bit of an overreaction.”

Hours earlier, he posted a video online in which he apologized again.

But ominous signs were mounting against the six-term legislator from suburban St. Louis, most notably the apparent loss of millions of dollars in campaign advertising money.

The decision has some urgency. Missouri election law allows candidates to withdraw 11 weeks before Election Day. That means the deadline to exit the Nov. 6 election is 5 p.m. Tuesday. Otherwise, a court order would be needed to remove a name from the ballot.

The uproar began Sunday, when St. Louis television station KTVI aired an interview in which Akin was asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.

“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said.

In the interviews with Huckabee and Sean Hannity on Monday, Akin acknowledged that rape can lead to conception.

“Rape is never legitimate. It’s an evil act. It’s committed by violent predators,” Akin said. “I used the wrong words the wrong way.”

But the damage had been done. The comments drew a sharp rebuke from fellow Republicans, including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his vice presidential choice, Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin.

The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said Akin’s comments might “prevent him from effectively representing” the Republican Party. He called on Akin to “take time with his family” to consider whether he should continue in the Senate race.

Two other Republican senators, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, urged Akin to resign.

Akin also apparently lost a key source of funding. Sen. John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, told Akin that $5 million in advertising set aside for Missouri will be spent elsewhere and that Akin will get no other help from the committee, according to a committee official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.

Cornyn told Akin that he was endangering the GOP’s hopes of getting a Senate majority by staying in the race, the official said.

Republican frustration grew Tuesday. Two GOP officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to irritate Akin, said party officials seeking to talk with him were having trouble reaching him Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Akin campaign spokesman Ryan Hite declined Tuesday to reveal Akin’s whereabouts but said he was not in his suburban St. Louis campaign office. Hite said the campaign may release information about his public schedule later.

At least one political interest group that has pounded McCaskill with attack ads, the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads, also pulled its ads from Missouri.

The apology video Akin posted on YouTube early Tuesday was an apparent attempt to claw back some of that funding.

“Fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness,” he said in the video.

President Barack Obama said Monday that Akin’s comments underscore why politicians — most of whom are men — should not make health decisions on behalf of women.

“Rape is rape,” Obama said. And the idea of distinguishing among types of rape “doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”

It was just two weeks ago that Akin was at the top of the political world in Missouri after winning a hotly contested three-way battle with millionaire businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman for the right to challenge McCaskill in the November election. Missouri has grown increasingly conservative in recent years, and McCaskill is seen as vulnerable.

She was not among those calling for her opponent to get out of the race.

“What’s startling to me is that (Republican) Party bigwigs are coming down on him and saying that he needs to kick sand in the face of all the primary voters,” McCaskill said at a campaign event Monday in suburban St. Louis. “I want Missourians to make a choice in this election based on policy, not backroom politics.”

One anti-abortion group expressed support for Akin, while another called on him to step aside.

Missouri Right to Life, which opposes a woman’s right to get an abortion even in cases of rape and incest, said Akin’s “consistent defense of innocent unborn human life clearly contrasts” with McCaskill’s position.

But the Christian Defense Coalition called on him to withdraw.

Names are being floated about a possible replacement for Akin. A favorite is Tom Schweich, the state auditor who was courted to run for Senate earlier this year but declined.

Other names mentioned include former Sen. Jim Talent, who lost to McCaskill in 2008; former Gov. Matt Blunt, the son of Missouri’s other senator, Roy Blunt; two members of Missouri’s House delegation, Blaine Luetkemeyer and Jo Ann Emerson; and Akin’s two unsuccessful primary opponents, Brunner and Steelman.

Talent, who lost his seat to McCaskill in 2006, said Monday he had been asked to run but declined.

If Akin were to leave, state law gives the Republican state committee two weeks to name a replacement. The new candidate must file within 28 days of Akin’s exit.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

75 comments Add your comment

honested

August 21st, 2012
2:38 pm

Chambliss giving advice.
Will this be added to the Wikipedia Page for ‘oxymoron’?

Lee

August 21st, 2012
2:43 pm

My advice to Chambliss: Come home, stay here, and let’s find a real Senator for State of GA.

Baron DeKalb

August 21st, 2012
2:44 pm

Looks like another “Macaca” moment for the Republicans. Keep talking guys… America wants to know what other sorts of backwards, medieval ideas and opinions are rattling around in there…

Juhn

August 21st, 2012
2:45 pm

so why aren’t brunner or steelman being named as replacements. definitely back room politics here. what he said was wrong, but the gop def aren’t focused on missourians

Holly Jones

August 21st, 2012
2:45 pm

Sen. Chambliss’ remark “That a seat that should be our seat.” is arrogant in the extreme. Just why does that seat belong to the GOP? No, Senator, that seat belongs to the people of Missouri, to fill as they see fit. It is not yours or your party’s to determine. Perhaps you should look up the word “hubris.”

Ralph

August 21st, 2012
2:47 pm

You just can’t make this stuff up.

PootieNewtie

August 21st, 2012
2:59 pm

Rep. Akin is holding out to be paid off a big sum by the RNC to quit the race.

PootieNewtie

August 21st, 2012
2:59 pm

Rep. Akin is holding out to be paid off a big sum by the RNC to quit the race.

TylerDureden

August 21st, 2012
3:00 pm

“our seat”…seriously? The GOP now owns seats in the Senate? Why don’t the republicans just secede from the union already and start their own country…they could read Ayn Rand all day, build giant walls, force the poor and the old out of the new “Republikistan” and do away with pesky gov’t functions like keeping the environment clean and policing the streets….

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

August 21st, 2012
3:01 pm

Chambliss is and always will be a joke. Georgia could do a whole lot better when it comes to representation. Chambliss advising Akin to go home is comical at best.

It’s a shame that good people won’t run for political offices anymore because the incumbents have the clout and the money to crucify an opponent with negative campaigning. Same ole….Same ole….

Matt

August 21st, 2012
3:07 pm

How is Saxby Chambliss getting attacked for his comments more than the idiot Akins? If you don’t think both parties think like Chambliss, you are sadly ignorant. Neither party cares about us. They just want to “win.”

Veteran Observer

August 21st, 2012
3:09 pm

I am glad that the President can get the fact that rape is rape. However, he is totally clueless in how to get our economy on track!(”None of you built your business, the government did it for You!”) The Republicans will sort out Missouri and beat McCaskill, who will have trouble running on her record no matter who runs against her! Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina will back the republicans and once again the country will be hopeful of the change in administrations with an experienced leader in charge as opposed to Mr Obama whose lack of skill and experience has led us to this point!

Auntie Christ

August 21st, 2012
3:10 pm

If you want to keep a democratic majority in the senate, go here and encourage akin to remain in the race. http://www.akin.org/contact. Be emphatic, tell him that we need people like him in D.C. If he drops out, McCaskill loses, we get more like thomas, scalia and alito on the SCOTUS.

Pete Rose

August 21st, 2012
3:14 pm

I’ll bet he’s gone by 5:00p

Auntie Christ

August 21st, 2012
3:16 pm

Veteran Observer
August 21st, 2012
3:09 pm

”None of you built your business, the government did it for You!”

You were probably absent the day your teacher covered quotation marks, and how they are used. When something is in quotes, it is supposed to represent what the speaker actually said, not what you wish they had said, or not what pox news told you the President said. Just thought I would pass along that little nugget of truth, you probably don’t get that much of it from your so-called “news sources.” No need to thank me, your adherence to facts in the future will be thanks enough.

Road Scholar

August 21st, 2012
3:19 pm

Holly and Tyler: My sentiments exactly! That seat is what is at stake in the election….ya’ know …when people vote. Or are the repubs just trying to buy the seat? What, no voter restriction lawsuits in Missouri? The two losers in the primary should be the only ones considered since the others did not run!

Liz

August 21st, 2012
3:20 pm

It isn’t that he said the wrong thing, at the wrong time. The PROBLEM is no member of Congress should be this ignorant. I am appalled that his colleagues didn’t try to expose his ignorance and wrong thinking YEARS ago, so that he might be properly replaced. People like Akin and Ryan have no business representing 1/2 of the population of this amazing country. Women, please hear me, fight for your hard earned rights. Don’t allow any party to take them away from you!!!

SBinF

August 21st, 2012
3:21 pm

Yes, it’s all about taking the senate seat.

Translation:

“Quick, our cover is blown! Let’s disavow the guy before people realize we all believe what he said!”

Bryan G.

August 21st, 2012
3:25 pm

I’m sure the individuals calling Sen. Chambliss “arrogant” (which I’ll admit as a GOPer is true) for claiming Sen. McCaskill’s seat as “our” seat, were the same people calling the Democrats the same thing when referring to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s former seat in the weeks leading up to the 2010 Massachusetts U.S. Senate Special Election to finish out Sen. Kennedy’s term. Or not…

Todd Bi

August 21st, 2012
3:26 pm

Even if he said what he said entirely out of self-interest it is a little comforting to see a politician from Georgia actually coming down on the side of human decency on an issue for a change.

Another comment

August 21st, 2012
3:44 pm

Next they will be putting Madonna and Lady Gaga on trial and sentencing them to two years in prison. Both have shown that Billy Joel’s song about The Catholic girl Virginia in only the Good Die Young is too far removed from the Catholic School anthem that we use to rock out at Catholic College early 80’s. Ryan and Santorum are so far off from what the Catholic girl who grew up during the 70’s 80’s, 90′,2000 are.

When are we going to realize that at least 50 percent of the women since Roe V Wade under 40 have had an abortion. They just don’t talk about it, they don’t turn it on their insurance, they don’t tell their boy friends or husbands. If they do it is a D & C or a miscarriage. How do I know best friends drive people to clinics, stay with Them, don,t judge, advise how to answer the intrusive Delta Airlines question for flight attendants. I

I only vote Pro choice, as will my 18 year old daughter who knows bible thumping daughters who have taken plan B. Now my 18 year also has friends who are filling out immigration papers. As more and more of them find out that good looking guy on the team (not Mexican) has to fill out the papers to stay for 2 years or the guys teammate he relied on, they start to question the Parent push to vote for Romney that would kick their friend from kindergarten out of the country.

Red

August 21st, 2012
3:44 pm

He “said the wrong thing” says Saxby? What about just flat out doing the wrong thing….over and over. Spend time with the grandkids Saxby. Please do GA a favor.

KB

August 21st, 2012
3:46 pm

Chambliss is angry because that “should be our seat” and McConnell is angry because Akin may not be able to “effectively represent” the Republican Party. That seat belongs to the people and the job of a Senator is to represent and serve the people, not the party. The people of Missouri can vote to decide if Akin will represent them. It’s called democracy! This is the core problem with the 2-party system and in particular with the current Congress. They no longer understand that they serve the people. When any party is more focused on power, greed and winning than its service to the country, something has gone very, very wrong with the system.

honested

August 21st, 2012
3:50 pm

Bryan G.
No that was scott brown’s seat (at least he got to test drive it).
Now it will be Elizabeth Warren’s seat, because she will earn it.

Auntie Christ

August 21st, 2012
3:50 pm

Todd Bi
August 21st, 2012
3:26 pm

“…….it is a little comforting to see a politician from Georgia actually coming down on the side of human decency on an issue for a change.”

You can be sure if a republican does or says something on the side of right, it will be for the wrong reason. It is transparently clear that the hue and cry they are raising on this incident is not due to some sense of decency, but merely political expediency. They have had plenty of opportunity in the past to renounce the likes of akin,the misogynists the birthers, the racists, and they haven’t. In this case they see a chance for a Senate majority slipping away, and suddenly they come down with a case of righteousness. Please!

urban redneck

August 21st, 2012
3:51 pm

good ol saxby. he’s always been a perfect pillar of morality………….and a d-bag.

cinque

August 21st, 2012
3:51 pm

It is impossible for any intelligent person to even let something as moronic as what Akins said slip through their lips!!! Conclusion? Akins is a moron! Of course, he is not the only one! We have our share of morons here in Georgia!!!! I mean, how can anyone support a “party” that got us into this economic mess? And the party is still spinning the same policies today that our so-called Senators support!!!!! If their policies did not work during the Bush years (2000-2008), why would they work now? If the Republicans know so much about the economy and healthcare, why are we in this economic mess and why did we not have a national health plan before Obama came aboard? Yes, Akins is a moron, but he is certainly no a Lone Ranger!!!!!!

Mike

August 21st, 2012
4:08 pm

What was Senator McCaskill’s opinion on replacing Bob Torricelli with Frank Lautenberg in New Jersey, after the primary but before the general election? Or are crooked Democrats somehow more entitled than narrow-minded Republicans?

jay

August 21st, 2012
4:09 pm

That’s republicans for ya…they all wanna regress back to the stone ages.

Rhett Butler

August 21st, 2012
4:10 pm

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

honested

August 21st, 2012
4:12 pm

Mike,
See why having different election and candidate qualification laws in different States is not the greatest idea in the world?

teje bar

August 21st, 2012
4:15 pm

saxby and his connected friends have made so many millions while he’s in office, he’ll never leave!!!

Kris (stop the attack on WOMEN)

August 21st, 2012
4:15 pm

STOP THE INSANITY OF THE GOP
The Todd Akin and Republican abortion plank continues.

Republicans in Tampa, Fla., (behind closed and locked doors) are drafting a platform provision that calls for a “human life amendment” to the Constitution: a ban on abortion with NO exceptions for rape or incest.
Mr. Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. In 2011, Akin and Congressman Ryan (among others) cosponsored legislation stating that only pregnancies resulting from “forcible rape”.

Saxby you and your SELF Righteous kind need to go home.

What do you damn republicans want women to head back to back alley laden with dark rooms and COAT HANGERS…

Please vote the GOP Nazis OUT.

Reelect President OBAMA

td

August 21st, 2012
4:23 pm

Lord look at the hypocrisy on display here. Not a word when there were several Democratic members of Congress came out and said that 9-11 was a CIA plot.

Jim S.

August 21st, 2012
4:25 pm

I’ll just leave the Saxby thing alone…if he actually gets the ‘grand bargain’, then I’ll give him a break, otherwise….to the point of Akin, he’s just relying on the non science that plenty of these folks pass along as fact when they’re preaching to the choir; he’s been saying stupid things on the floor of the house for years; sadly this goes largely unnoticed because it doesn’t distinguish him from a whole lot of the collective dufi (my plural for dufus) elected from these gerimandered districts that we can only reasonably expect will send a more extreme partisan to Congress…this is true of both the democratic and republican members from these types of districts….at least when the dems were gerimandering in Georgia, they were attempting to elect more moderates…oh well, nobody shows any love to those anymore. I’d love to see the ‘research’ on the ’science’ he was citing on the female’s ability to prevent a pregnancy in the case of ‘forcible’ rape…

jay

August 21st, 2012
4:26 pm

The republicn party has been hijacked by total scum. It’s sad because we need a two party system.

GaBlue

August 21st, 2012
4:31 pm

Kris,

At least they’re finally being honest about who they are and what they (don’t) care about. I encourage them to let their little lights shine, so people can see the truth. Sure, the truth is repugnant, but it’s preferable to sweet lies that trick us into surrendering our votes on the promise of something we’ll never, ever see.

Question Man

August 21st, 2012
4:37 pm

Doesn’t Chambliss want Akin to withdraw because Chambliss thinks Akin is going to lose, not because Chambliss disagrees with him?

oldfart

August 21st, 2012
4:38 pm

“The republicn party has been hijacked by total scum. It’s sad because we need a two party system.”

No, we need a legitimate three-party system so that it isn’t always a polar opposite choice with supporters only allowed to toe the party line on almost all issues. As it is today it is almost always Us vs Them ranking above the good of the Country.

Auntie Christ

August 21st, 2012
4:39 pm

td
August 21st, 2012
4:23 pm

Lord look at the hypocrisy on display here. Not a word when there were several Democratic members of Congress came out and said that 9-11 was a CIA plot.
****************************************************************************

And once again ladies and gentlemen, our reigning champion td has captured “stupid comment of the day” honors. I tell you, folks, there’s just no stopping this misinformation machine once he starts rolling. He will have a star on the Pox News Walk of Shame for sure.

Bernie

August 21st, 2012
4:42 pm

Jim, Are You referring to the same SAXBY, that mugged an American Hero who served in Viet Nam? The DECORATED Honored Vet who is a Triple Amputee? Are You, speaking of the same Saxby when his turn came to DEFEND America, He tells Her…I am sorry ” I hurt My Knee” so send someone else in my place.

You know that “YELLOW” streak seems to RUN DEEP in the Republican Party. We have another one named Mitt “The PROUD ONE”, when his turn came up to defend America. He tells her…..” I Must go to Paris, France and do missionary WORK on behalf of my Church!

Now good OLE Mitt wants to be COMMANDER IN CHIEF! ……….of All things!

GEEEEZ!

What if George Washington said ” I have to stay in Mount Vernon to keep watch over MY SLAVES.” Just where do any of YOU Republicans think we would be as a NATION?

I can tell you…..We ALL would be BLIMEY ENGLISH!

You know Jim, I thought He was the one………….:(

oldfart

August 21st, 2012
4:44 pm

Chambliss wants him out because he was stupid enough to utter this nonsense in public thereby proving himself too stupid to hold public office. He is an embarrassment to the Republicans and more importantly to an electorate that was about to make him a US Senator. We now need to add “legitimate rape” to the “dead girl or live boy” lexicon. This guy is walking dead and is too stupid to realize even that point.

honested

August 21st, 2012
4:51 pm

oldfart,

If they weeded out the ones that were ‘embarrasments’ ‘totally incompetent’ or ‘lacking any hint of leadership skills’ they would not have enough members left for a pick-up basketball team.
Quite a slide for the goofy old party.

aps

August 21st, 2012
4:53 pm

I would give the same advice to Mr. Party of Six sellout Chambliss.

sambo

August 21st, 2012
4:58 pm

sambo be going outs thers to vote, he votes in a lot of elections where ever he needed

WaitAMinute

August 21st, 2012
5:02 pm

Why doesn’t Chambliss ask Ryan to step down too? He co-authored the “personhood” bill.

julia

August 21st, 2012
5:03 pm

Pot, meet kettle.

BEND OVER, HERE COMES THE CHANGE

August 21st, 2012
5:09 pm

And the dem don’t think the OWN the White House….just ask one….get a life!

Rick

August 21st, 2012
5:10 pm

All those Washington Aholies rape me all the time.. Legit or non-legit…

cc

August 21st, 2012
5:13 pm

Limbaugh made a great point re this on his show today.

When a situation like this arises, if it is a dimocrat, dimocrats ‘circle the wagons’ and protect the offender. If it is a Republican, the GOP rounds up the firing squad.