Todd Akin went from a little-known Senate candidate in Missouri to a national celebrity overnight with his remarks yesterday that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate” rape.
But Mr. Akin is no stranger to controversial remarks. Here is a brief rundown:
1. “Liberals Hate God”
Prior to this most recent imbroglio, Todd Akin was primarily known for his belief that liberals carry deep in their heart a hatred of God. The controversy began when NBC inadvertently omitted the words “under God” and invisible in a pre-taped segment during the U.S. Open golf tournament.
In an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Mr. Akin called the remarks not a mistake but “something that was done systematically, it was done intentionally, and is tremendously corrosive in terms of all of the values and everything that’s made America unique and such a special nation.”
Asked by Mr. Perkins why NBC would have done this, Mr. Akin replied, ”Well, I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God. And so they’ve had a long history of not being at all favorable toward many of things that have been such a blessing to our country…This is a systematic effort to try to separate our faith and God, which is a source in our belief in individual liberties, from our country. And when you do that you tear the heart out of our country.”
Mr. Akin later apologized.
2. He Believes Medicare Is Unconstitutional
In running for the GOP Senate nominate in Missouri this year, Mr. Akin met with a group of Tea Party activists and suggested to them that Medicare is unconstitutional. He was asked specifically about voting against expanding the prescription drug benefit and said that “it was expanding an entitlement I wasn’t too comfortable with to begin with.”
Asked about those remarks by a reporter later, Mr. Akin said, “I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care.”
3. He Is Against The Direct Election Of U.S. Senators
Odd for a man running for the U. S. Senate, but Mr. Akin is against the 17th Amendment, which provided the direct election of U.S Senators by the citizenry, instead of by state legislatures, as had been previously the case in some states.
At a debate, Mr. Akin suggested that it was an infringement on states rights. “In general, I have a very serious concern about the erosion of states’ rights,’’ he said then. “Reversing this decision might pull that balance back.”
4. He Doesn’t Know, Or Care To Know, What The Federal Minimum Wage Is
Again at a GOP debate, Mr. Akin was asked along with the other candidates what the federal minimum wage is. Mr. Akin went last, but he didn’t know, guessing that “its somewhere in the 6 or 7, but I don’t know the exact number right now.” But no matter, since Mr. Akin opposes the idea of a federal minimum wage, saying at that same debate, “My belief on this is its just another example of a wrong thing that the government does. I don’t think the government should be setting the prices or wages on different things,” Akin said. “I don’t think that’s the function of the government. If you got a kid that’s never held a job before and wants to just simply sweeping the floor and learn how to be a employee. Maybe they’re worth $6 an hour but the government says you have to pay them seven something — you don’t hire them. And that’s a big mistake.”
For the record, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
5. He did not come out explicitly in favor of the Civil Rights Act
From the same interview in which he made the famous “rape” comment, Mr. Akin was asked directly if he supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination, and the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed the right to vote. Mr. Akin hedged, saying that “elections have have historically always been a state thing” and noting that had that not been the case, the Florida 2000 fiasco would have meant that a do-over election would have been necessary all over the country.