Todd Akin debate, just as Mitt Romney was hoping it was gone for a while, Newt Gingrich made the claim yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press program that the majority of the GOP supported Akin staying in the Missouri Senate race, and that Akin's apology and continued popularity were sufficient cause for Republicans to continue to support the embattled US Congressman.
Contradicting fellow Republican, Carly Fiorina, who a few minutes earlier had said on the program, "Todd Akin should go...the Republican Party did the right thing in repudiating him almost universally", Gingrich made the following defense of Akin:
"Let me just take a second, I disagree with Carly. I think Todd Akin was the choice of the people of Missouri. I think Todd Akin has publicly apologized. And the last poll shows he’s beating the Democratic senator."—Note: in fact the latest polls show Akin losing to Democrat Claire McCaskill.Gingrich then attacked Karl Rove, saying the former George W. Bush advisor had said "some terrible things" about Akin, when Rove reportedly said: "We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!" Gingrich, a former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said there was no room for joking about murdering a United States Congressman.
When challenged by Meet the Press host, David Gregory, on whether his views were really mainstream Republican, Gingrich, using a Todd Akin talking point, insisted Republican leaders were out of touch with the majority of the Party on the Akin question:
"Look, when—when a majority of the people of Missouri on Friday, in the latest PPP poll said he should stay on the ticket—a majority of Democrats, majority of Republicans, majority of independents. [Akin] won the primary. Now for Washington figures, remember, the same Washington figures who last time wanted to kick off Marco Rubio for Charlie Crist who will be in Charlotte, I just think [Republican leaders] ought to be a little cautious about saying the voters of Missouri don’t count."
But in fact, from the beginning Akin has continued to have support from a number of quarters, including from popular Republican politician and talk-show host, Mike Huckabee. After Akin refused to get out of the race, many Republicans in Missouri, and anti-abortion advocates around the country, alleged the Republican Party was treating Akin unfairly and kowtowing to liberal demands that the GOP punish Akin for saying things many other Republicans have said and believe to be true.
As Gingrich no doubt accurately assessed on Meet the Press: "Romney doesn’t particularly want this argument"—in other words, about the competing abortion positions of the two political parties. Gingrich said his own articulation of the debate, defending Todd Akin, and attacking the Democratic position supporting women's rights to abortion, which Gingrich called "extremist", would be a winning position for Republicans.