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Newt Gingrich defends Todd Akin

As news came out Thursday that Republican Congressman Todd Akin was still neck-and-neck in the polls with Democratic rival Claire McCaskill in their run for a Missouri Senate seat, former House speaker Newt Gingrich said it wasn’t clear to him that Akin should drop out.

Akin incurred a firestorm of criticism from the left and right alike earlier this month when he said in a televised interview that in cases of “legitimate rape” women’s bodies could spontaneously intervene to prevent pregnancy.

Republicans, who wanted to distance themselves from the junk science of the remarks as well as the concept of legitimate rape, began to call for Akin to leave the race. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that Akin hurt the Republican party, while vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a personal plea to him to drop out of the running.

But Gingrich said it was all overreaction.

“This is a good example of why the power structure in Washington should sometimes take a deep breath, count to ten, and go on vacation or something,” Gingrich told an audience at a Politico-sponsored event in Tampa. “Todd Akin made a mistake. He’s an honorable guy, he’s a sincere guy. He said something stupid.”

Gingrich said Republicans had an “unfortunate tendency” to rush to judgment against members of their own party, and that Akin now faced the end of a lifetime of public service over six seconds of foolish commentary.

Whether he chose to drop out now, Gingrich said, was up to him.

“ The polls show that the people of Missouri by a majority do not want him to get off. Neither Democrat, Republican, or Independent want him to get off the ticket,” he said. “…I think he’s got a big decision.

A survey by Public Policy Polling showed Akin trailing McCaskill by only one point, 44 to 45 percent, on Thursday.

 

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Newt Gingrich defends Todd Akin

“This is a good example of why the power structure in Washington should sometimes take a deep breath, count to ten, and go on vacation or something.”

As news came out Thursday that Republican Congressman Todd Akin was still neck-and-neck in the polls with Democratic rival Claire McCaskill in their run for a Missouri Senate seat, former House speaker Newt Gingrich said it wasn??t clear to him that Akin should drop out.

Akin incurred a firestorm of criticism from the left and right alike earlier this month when he said in a televised interview that in cases of ??legitimate rape? women??s bodies could spontaneously intervene to prevent pregnancy.

Republicans, who wanted to distance themselves from the junk science of the remarks as well as the concept of legitimate rape, began to call for Akin to leave the race. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that Akin hurt the Republican party, while vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a personal plea to him to drop out of the running.

But Gingrich said it was all overreaction.

??This is a good example of why the power structure in Washington should sometimes take a deep breath, count to ten, and go on vacation or something,? Gingrich told an audience at a Politico-sponsored event in Tampa. ??Todd Akin made a mistake. He??s an honorable guy, he??s a sincere guy. He said something stupid.?

Gingrich said Republicans had an ??unfortunate tendency? to rush to judgment against members of their own party, and that Akin now faced the end of a lifetime of public service over six seconds of foolish commentary.

Whether he chose to drop out now, Gingrich said, was up to him.

?? The polls show that the people of Missouri by a majority do not want him to get off. Neither Democrat, Republican, or Independent want him to get off the ticket,? he said. ??…I think he??s got a big decision.

A survey by Public Policy Polling showed Akin trailing McCaskill by only one point, 44 to 45 percent, on Thursday.

 

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Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope??s email is HHodge@eaglepub.com

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