home
RSS
Conservative Christians rally around Akin in face of GOP criticism
Rep. Todd Akin has defied GOP pressure to get out of the U.S. Senate race in Missouri.
August 23rd, 2012
01:12 PM ET

Conservative Christians rally around Akin in face of GOP criticism

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – Even as the official Republican Party continues to try to derail Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin over his remarks about “legitimate rape,” a powerful force within the GOP has begun rallying to the candidate’s side: the party’s socially conservative base.

Powerful Christian activists in the GOP have begun pushing back against party leadership, alleging it has gone too far in trying to thwart Akin and that it is attempting to sideline issues that social conservatives care about, such as abortion.

The criticism is creating major tensions between the mainstream Republican Party and a key part of its base days before the GOP’s convention is set to open in Tampa, Florida.

“Following the pounding of Todd Akin by the GOP kings and lieutenants in the last 36 hours, I've come to the conclusion that the real issue is the soul of America,” wrote David Lane, an evangelical activist who’s influential in the Republican Party, in an e-mail to fellow activists Thursday morning.

Top Catholic to close GOP convention

“The swift knee-jerk reaction to throw Akin, a strong conservative pro-life, pro-family born again Christian under the bus by some in the Republican Party is shining the light on their actual agenda,” Lane continued.

“We haven't seen anything this vicious since some of the same operatives did this to (Sarah) Palin.”

While many conservative Christian groups have criticized Akin over his “legitimate rape” comment and for claiming that women’s bodies can prevent conception in such cases, the groups have also emphasized that they stand with Akin in opposing abortion, even in instances of rape.

Not all conservative Christian activists are taking Akin's side against the GOP.

"I think it splits the social conservative movement," says Richard Land, who heads public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention. "Some people say, 'Look he is our guy, we are going to stand with him.'

"And some people are saying the odds are this is a fatal blow at least in this election cycle," Land says. "For the good of the movement, for the good of the pro-life cause ... he needs to do what's best for the cause and throw himself on his shield."

Land, who was in Tampa on Thursday attending meetings around the convention, said he thinks Akin should drop out.

Many Republican leaders, from presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, also have called on Akin to get out of the race.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the American Crossroads super PAC that backs GOP candidates both announced that they will stop spending money on the Missouri Senate race. Even tea party groups that have backed Akin in the past said he should step aside for the good of the party and the conservative cause.

The Republican National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the social conservative criticisms of the party on Thursday.

Akin, who won a tough primary battle this month, has apologized for his comments but also defied pressure to get out of the election.

Republican officials have told CNN on condition of not being identified that the Akin controversy hurts on several fronts. It decreases the chances of capturing Missouri’s Senate seat, which is crucial to GOP hopes of winning control of the chamber, they said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

And the brouhaha shifts the national discussion to divisive social issues that could repel swing voters rather than economic ones that could attract them in a climate of high unemployment and stumbling recovery, the GOP officials said.

Akin has bowed to Republican pressure to skip the Republican convention next week. But the Senate candidate was in Tampa on Wednesday night to meet with a powerful group of religious conservatives, according to a source familiar with the trip.

In a note to supporters Wednesday night, conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins heaped criticism on the GOP for abandoning Akin.

"Todd Akin has a long and distinguished record of defending women, children, and families and unlike the GOP establishment, I refuse to throw him under the bus over one inarticulate comment for which he has apologized,” wrote Perkins, who is in Tampa attending events leading up the convention.

“As for the GOP, it has no rational basis for deserting Akin when it has stood by moderate Republicans who've done worse,” Perkins continued. “Singling out Todd suggests a double standard, designed to drive out social conservatives.”

CNN’s Tom Cohen and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Abortion • Politics • Tea Party

soundoff (1,510 Responses)
  1. pprty

    The Republican party is in disarray!

    August 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  2. we're hearing

    Republicans won't dare touch a millionaires wallet, but can't keep their hands off women's personal parts.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Reality

      A related but more important issue:

      ONLY FOR THE NEW MEMBERS:

      The reality of se-x, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
      - (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      - (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      August 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  3. Moon2343

    Just as Akin and Republicans sometimes are socially mentally handicapped (how could Akin be so socially handicapped??) Democrats are fiscally mentally handicapped and will destroy America financially. Roe VS. Wade will still not be overturned (even if abortion became illegal there were many safe doctor induced abortions long before abortion became "legal"). Safe abortions will never go away as they are still needed to save life (even in the early 1900s doctors had to abort babies so at least the mother could live when tuberculosis was the leading cause of death and it was terminal for a pregnant mother).

    August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  4. kellyf

    REALLY?!? There are THIS many mentally ill people in Missouri??? They are making our country a laughing stock....

    August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • LynnElla

      No, there aren't that many mentally ill people in Missouri. Unfortunately, we are run over by the most radical group of conservatives – Tea Party-Evangelicals. You can not imagine what a negative impact these ultra-conservatives have had on Missouri.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Of course there are. They just passed the Right to Pray ammendment to their state consti tution. This is going to drag down their education level to lower than Alabama if that is possible and create so many legal problems that I'm thinking about changing professions to being a lawyer.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  5. G Smith

    Another Etch A Sketch moment for Romney and Ryan....This time it's against their own social conservative base.

    It appears these guys will lie and say anything...to EVERYBODY!..I didn't trust them before ...now I really don't trust them...They will eat their young!

    August 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Horus

    I think I'd actually be ok with Texas, and all the states to the East and South leaving the Union. Let them build their Christian Nation. The various sects already agree on sooo much (sarcasm). I'm sure it would all work out for them....

    August 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • v_mag

      The problem with that approach is that there are a lot of people like me in Texas, and I don't want to move again at my age. Also, there are a lot of pockets of craz-e-vangelicals in other places, and they would just try harder to make their state part of the Christian States of America. Also, there might be such a mass movement of people from one region to the other that the price of gas would increase drastically. I think the solution is to somehow get all those folks into treatment.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  7. revensaw

    In God we trust,

    Not the GOP

    August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Answer

      There's no god to trust.

      Trust yourself and get over it.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Waiting for Answers proof of his claim....

      August 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  8. SPRINGSGRANNY

    He and his flock of sheep scare me that they have any kind of power over ANYTHING!

    August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  9. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Wow, conservative xtians sure are stupid.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  10. scoto

    Nice picture. This is an individual who manages to look as stupid as he actually is.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  11. bernard and india walker

    he said it was a stumble in words ok not a problem . see if he can try not do thatagian!!

    August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      It's hardly a stumble of words, look into it. He has been claiming this same garbage for years.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  12. Bill in Florida

    I've been waiting patiently for the civil war between the religious right and the semi-moderate mainstream GOP for 25 years. The first real shots have been fired, just in time for the convention! I hope this signals a true, all-out war within the GOP, eventually resulting in the religious right leaving the rest of the GOP and forming its own political group. If this happens, the Democrats will rule for the next 20 years (which human demographics suggest will happen regardless).

    August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • pprty

      I think you've got the wrong story.....

      August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  13. erik shnaghai

    Thank you Lordy Lordy rally around this moron just what we want boys Thank you so much-From an Obama Supporter

    August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  14. revensaw

    extreme science flies you to the moon
    extreme religions fly you into buildings
    seperate church and state by voting the GOP out
    In God we trust.
    not the GOP

    August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • freelance

      If you trust God, You need to trust GOP!

      August 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  15. Jill

    So the republicans WILL pass laws to stop the rich from going outside the U.S. for abortions. I haven't heard how they are going to stop that yet.Or is this law only meant for the poor?

    August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • LiberaLIowan

      They will just look for a fetus as women walk through the scanners at airports.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  16. The Pope

    Ah, yes, conservative christians, the people who have removed Christ from Christianity and replaced him with demagoguery

    August 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • tony

      Hey the first four commandments get you 40% of the way.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • imzzzz

      Thank you Pope, I am a Christian but boy oh boy do these people embarrass me and my Lord too!!

      August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things . .

    August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! .

      August 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Horus

      prove it.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      I don't understand what you are trying to say. What is wrong with Atheism?

      August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Harry

      Prayer allows you to travel through time. If you pray for an hour, when you're done, you will have traveled an hour into the future.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Drummergrl

      What does prayer change? This guy said something so terrible and you people do not get it! What a bunch of backward rednecks the Republicans have voting for them..what he said is what crazy people think..get with it people!!!

      August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      I prayed for my dying amaryllis and even took it to church. It still died. So much for that theory.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ,

      August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Lionel

      I am praying for a Hurricane to hit Tampa and looks like it is going to come true.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • old ben

      I hope so, Lionel. Give that Mormon some wind in his hair alright.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  19. JWR

    These so-called "conservative christians" should be rounded up and forced to study, interpret and practice the teachings of the Holy Bible correctly. They are trying to usurp authority that only God has. They are under the influence of satanic forces and don't even know it.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Get your sinning done soon, November brings the light. Romney/Ryan 2012

      August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Lionel

      Right on. They are all hypocrites. Robme / Lying Ryan / Raping Akin and now some crazy judge in Texas.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  20. Primewonk

    I would like to see the tea baggers, er, partiers, take over the convention next week and drop Romney/Ryan. In their place, they should draft Akin for President and Judge Tom Head (Texas) for VP.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Primewonk,

      what about Christine "I am not a witch" O'Donnell. I miss her so much.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      ...and yall can drop Obama and put in Rep. Kerry Gauthier from Minnesota. :)

      August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      I'm thinking 'Fred Phelps' for the GOP Prez, and Sarah Palin as VP.

      Peace...

      August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Christine? Secretary of health and human services. Get your sinning done quick the light shines in November. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Lionel

      What's Sarah Palin doing. I miss her too. Got some good laughs from her.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Mark From Middle River

      We have Biden to joke with. Palin on speed.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Mark

      You betcha' LOL ! :D

      Peace...

      August 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.