A few weeks after Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told The New York Times he didn’t understand why white supremacy was “offensive,” former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), infamous for his comments that rape victims can’t actually get pregnant, donated $2,000 to King’s campaign.
The leadership PAC run by Akin, Takin Back America PAC, filed the donation on Feb. 2 — according to records — just 23 days after the Times published King’s racist remark, which earned him a bipartisan boot from his committee assignments in the House.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said at the time. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
King’s no stranger to inflammatory remarks, and neither is Akin.
TPM the first national outlet to unearth Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” remarks that he made in 2012 when trying to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill. During an interview with a local TV station in Missouri, Akin harped on the uber-conservative belief that abortion should be banned, even in instances of rape. But Akin took it a step further, arguing that it was nearly impossible for women to get pregnant if they experience “legitimate rape” because the female body can “shut that whole thing down.”
(Akin later apologized for the comment amid backlash from fellow Republicans, but he didn’t drop his candidacy against McCaskill, who later bested him and held the Missouri Senate seat until the 2018 midterms when she was defeated by Trump-backed Josh Hawley).
The ties between Akin and King stretch deeper than this latest $2,000 donation. King was one of the few Republicans who did not call out Akin for his “legitimate rape” comment and even appeared to support the congressman’s belief. In August 2012, King told an Iowa newspaper that he had never heard of a child being impregnated by rape or incest, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.” King’s office later clarified to TPM that King only meant he “personally does not know a girl who was raped.”
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- -Hiring More Journalists
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