There’s a lot to work with.
From Colorado to New Hampshire to Illinois, Democrats already are using the incendiary comments about rape made by the Missouri congressman and Republican Senate candidate as a political bludgeon. In interviews, news releases and tweets, they’ve blasted Akin for saying victims of “legitimate rape” are able to naturally prevent pregnancy and tried to tie their opponents to legislation he’s supported.
Those moves might only be the beginning, as Akin has so far refused to drop out of the race despite pleas from top Republicans, including GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and the widespread condemnation of his remarks.
“People are disgusted and appalled,” said Joe Mikosi, a Democratic congressional candidate in suburban Denver, who began tying his opponent, GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, to Akin within hours of learning about his comments this past Sunday.
Miklosi sent a tweet that read, “Mike Coffman and Todd Akin have been fighting side by side against women in Congress,” [Pols emphasis] and posted a video online included footage of Akin praising Coffman on the House floor.
Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter sent a short release this morning tying his GOP challenger Joe Coors, Jr. to Akin via the “Personhood” abortion ban initiative Coors backed in 2010:
Wheat Ridge, CO — Today, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) called on Republican Joe Coors to join other Colorado and national Republicans calling for Rep. Todd Akin to stand aside and clarify his position on women’s’ reproductive health issues. The people of the 7th Congressional District have a right to know directly from Joe Coors where he stands.
Here are the facts — Republican Joe Coors:
Gave $1,000 to fund Personhood initiative in Colorado in 2010, but refuses to take a position now that he’s running for office. The measure in 2010 & 2012 outlaws abortion even in the cases of rape & incest.
Joe Coors has been silent on calling for Rep. Akin to step aside and on the issue of outlawing abortions in the case of rape and incest.
The GOP platform supports outlawing all forms of abortion even in the cases of rape & incest.
Joe Coors — he’s more extreme than GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The days-long persistent domination of political news coverage by the Todd Akin controversy, worsened by the GOP’s moves to distance themselves from Akin personally while aligning themselves with his underlying position in their official party platform, has given Democrats a better opportunity to damage their Republican opponents on the issue of reproductive choice than anything they could have done themselves. Where Republicans like Coors and Rep. Mike Coffman had hoped to skate by without this issue coming to the fore, now it’s irrevocably front and center–and they are on the wrong side of their competitive swing districts.
They always were, but now they have to reckon with it. They can’t just change the subject.
Each day Akin is the yardstick Republicans are measured by, a political disaster is unfolding.