GOP strategist Karl Rove spoke out on the Senate candidacy of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) on Monday, predicting that his decision to stay in the race despite controversy over his recent remarks about rape would lead to an embarrassing defeat.
“I know Todd. He’s a good man. He has a good heart,” Rove said at a Politico Playbook Breakfast at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. “But he said a real stupid, indefensible thing from which there’s no recovery. And if he really cares about the values of conservatism and pro-life, then he will not go down in defeat with the biggest loss of any Republican candidate for Senate in the modern history.”
Akin's campaign against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill became much more difficult over the past week, following comments Akin made about "legitimate rape."
In an interview that aired last Sunday, Akin claimed rape victims couldn't get pregnant because of some biological impulse that would allow them to prevent conception. The statement has no medical basis, and Republicans and Democrats alike came out against Akin's remarks, for which he later apologized. Despite pressure from all sides, including from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Akin announced late last week that he would remain in the race.
The Rove-backed non-profit Crossroads GPS had earlier severed its financial support for Akin in the Senate race, pulling a round of ads that were set to hit the airwaves last week. The group has kept its reservations on airtime in the event that Akin does step aside, however, still a potential option for the embattled congressman.