Akin: Trump Backlash Is Just Like That Against ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comments

August 5, 2016 11:34 a.m.

Former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), infamous for his comments about the unlikeliness of a pregnancy resulting from “legitimate rape,” called Donald Trump’s rhetoric “a breath of fresh air” in a Thursday interview.

As a result of Trump’s recent attacks on the Khan family, which Trump has said he does not regret, the GOP nominee has faced bipartisan backlash that apparently reminds Akin of his own doomed candidacy. The former congressman told Morning Consult that he could see parallels between waning Republican support for Trump and the response to his own 2012 comments in opposition to abortion rights.

“It’s because you’ve got an incredibly one-sided Democratic national media, and Republicans are scared to death of them,” he said. “Look at my race. I got hammered, really, because I’m pro-life. That’s the bottom line of it.”

In 2012, Akin’s campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) took a nosedive after he told a local St. Louis TV station that “legitimate” rape was unlikely to lead to pregnancy.

“If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down,” he said.

Akin subsequently lost most of his support from GOP officials, ranging from senators to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his then-running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

At the time, Trump called Akin’s remarks “inexcusable” but assumed that Akin had made a “mistake.” He also called on Akin to “get out there and apologize in a better form than he did.”

In his Thursday interview, Akin lauded Trump’s unfiltered rhetoric.

“It’s such a breath of fresh air,” he said. “When he says things and gets everybody excited, there are people like me who are clapping. It is still a free speech country.”

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