Words With Friends
Mayor Bill de Blasio today defended Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has come under endless criticism from conservative pundits after telling a local radio station that “extreme conservatives, who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay … have no place in the state of New York.”
Mr. Cuomo’s staff have insisted the comments were taken out of context and that he was talking specifically about statewide elections in Democratic-leaning New York. Mr. de Blasio said he shared the sentiment, after giving remarks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C this morning.
Criticizing the Critics
Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams endured a barrage of questions about his views on same-sex marriage and abortion following a City Council speaker’s forum tonight–and repeatedly refused to clarify his positions on either issue.
With only a handful of days left in this year’s legislative session in which to enact his policy agenda, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed hard on one of his signature issues today: the Women’s Equality Act. Sitting before the media at a State Capitol press conference, Mr. Cuomo repeatedly took swipes at both his critics and the press for what he said was an unfair depiction of the bill.
“The language on the choice issue is different than what the opponents have suggested,” Mr. Cuomo said at one point, for instance. “Different than what the press has been writing, frankly … Go back and look at the stories you guys wrote–none of that is accurate.”
In his State of the Union address this evening, President Barack Obama addressed several hot-button political issues including climate change, immigration reform and gun control. Overall, the president’s speech struck a populist tone, but when bringing up his proposals to address some of these more controversial issues, he characterized them as making good business sense.
Much Ado About Abortion
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An anti-abortion protester caused quite the scene at President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony this morning after he climbed high up into a tree on the National Mall and shouted anti-abortion slogans and criticism of the Democratic Party throughout the proceedings. On stage near the president and other assembled dignitaries, the man’s yelling could faintly be heard, but he clearly made quite the impression among the crowd, which was otherwise overwhelmingly composed of the president’s staunch supporters.
“He was anti-abortion and Democrats,” said a woman named Susan who was seated below the activist’s perch in the tree. “He was really obnoxious.”
Republican Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock sparked a firestorm after he discussed abortion in cases of rape in a debate last night and said, “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Democrats quickly went on the attack against Mr. Mourdock, focusing on an ad Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recorded for him that was released online Sunday. Though aides for Mr. Romney issued statements expressing disagreement with Mr. Mourdock’s position on rape and abortion, the campaign is not asking for the ad to be pulled.
Embattled Congressman Todd Akin’s campaign manager (and son) Perry Akin released a statement saying a new Rasmussen Reports poll showing that the elder Mr. Akin went from leading the Missouri Senate race to running 10 points behind his rival, incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill after his controversial comments on “legitimate rape” is actually bad news for Ms. McCaskill. The younger Mr. Akin’s rationale for this interpretation of the poll numbers is that Ms. McCaskill should be beating Mr. Akin by a lot more than 48 percent to 38 percent in the aftermath of his rape-remark firestorm.
“The fact that Claire McCaskill is only polling at 48% after 72 hours of constant negative attacks on Todd Akin shows just how weak she is. If she can’t break fifty percent after a week like this, Democrats should ask Claire to step down,” the Akin campaign’s statement said.
For embattled Missouri congressman and Senate candidate Todd Akin, the reverse of the old rap song is apparently true and more problems = more money. According to Mr. Akin’s website he has raised over $10,000 from supporters after declaring his intention to stay in the Senate race in the wake of a massive controversy over comments he made on “legitimate rape,” pregnancy and abortion.
“Donations are pouring in. Thank you for standing up against the liberal elite,” Mr. Akin wrote on Twitter last night.
Embattled congressman Todd Akin won’t be withdrawing from Missouri’s Senate race despite calls from leaders within his party for him to step aside and make room for another candidate after his comments about “legitimate rape” and abortion caused a massive controversy. Mr. Akin made his intention to stick with his Senate bid clear on a pair of radio interviews this afternoon where he admitted that he “misspoke one word,” but also accused his detractors of having “an overreaction.”
Though it has been less than two hours since Missouri Congressman Todd Akin took to the airwaves and vowed to keep his senate campaign going, he is now reportedly ending that bid following the flap over a statement he made that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” However, the rumors of Mr. Akin’s impending political demise didn’t stop New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from sending her supporters and email asking them to donate to Mr. Akin’s Democratic opponent, Claire McCaskill.
“In all my years of public service, I’ve heard a lot of shocking remarks on the campaign trail. But yesterday’s appalling comment by Tea Party senatorial candidate Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri took things to a whole new level,” Ms. Gillibrand wrote. “This from someone who’s tied with Senator Claire McCaskill in the polls, from someone who could tip the balance of power in the Republicans’ favor. We can’t let Akin win. We need to help Claire, who’s been a strong progressive voice in the Senate on behalf of women’s rights. Give to Claire McCaskill’s campaign today and help make sure Akin and his abhorrent views don’t reach the Senate.”