Mike Huckabee News
Sep 01 2012
Since Todd Akin made his infamous remark in what was an unfortunate and awkward attempt to explain his strong pro-life position, I have openly spoken out about what was a disproportionately harsh reaction from party officials and elected officials, all of whom didn’t merely distance themselves from Akin’s statement (understandable), but distanced themselves from him personally and politically and proceeded to publicly call for his head on a platter as surely as Herod demanded the head of John the Baptist. Both John the Baptist and Todd Akin said things that the institutional power structure didn’t like. Todd Akin admitted his error, publicly apologized for his comment, and asked for forgiveness. John the Baptist recanted nothing he said and shouldn’t have since it was the truth. I talked to Todd Akin on my daily radio show as he made his first public statements following his comments. He was contrite, he sincerely stated that he was factually incorrect in his statement, and apologized for having said it. He didn’t excuse his comments, justify, or rationalize them.
Despite that, calls were swift, public and brutal not merely suggesting, but demanding that he just up and quit. I was shocked. I’ve seen fellow Republicans get caught in scandals of adultery, drunkenness, corruption, and other forms of shocking behavior and never recall seeing such a systematic and orchestrated attempt to destroy a man’s candidacy and his life from HIS OWN PARTY! I wrote a strong rebuttal to the curious actions of party officials and suggested that someone had called a “code red” to take down Todd Akin. I was called and had numerous messages from current and former Senators and Congressmen, and from party officials and political operatives who all but begged me to “get Akin out of the race.” Some of them surprised me and disappointed me. It was as if all were reading from the same talking points as a carefully contrived script that had been handed out. I asked one of them if he had spent 2 years risking all to get a nomination for his Senate seat for which he had received ZERO party support and had a verbal gaffe and then the very people who didn’t want him in demanded that he get out, would HE do it? Silence at the other end of the phone and then the subject was changed.
I grew up with my mother drilling into me a simple rule—the Golden Rule: “Do unto others and you would have them do unto you.” Those simple words of Jesus are the standard of human behavior. Would every Republican candidate and office holder and operative really wish to be treated as Todd Akin was being treated? Instead of those who really cared for him rushing to a wounded brother to offer help, encourage, and assistance to get on his feet, they loaded, aimed, and fired their own weapons at him while he lay in the battlefield, wounded and bleeding. The gaffe would have been bad enough, but the Democrats didn’t have to trumpet it because the Republicans were louder in their condemnation of Akin than the Democrats could have been. Akin’s numbers dropped, the GOP voices of destruction crowed that he was toast, and anyone associated with Akin was declared radioactive and consultants, vendors, and operatives were actually threatened by the National Republican Senatorial Committee operatives to disconnect with Akin and even those affiliated with those who refused to abandon him! I was assured those heavy handed thug-like tactics would stop, but they continued right through the Republican National Convention. Then polls started changing and Todd pulled back even with liberal Democrat Claire McCaskill showing that he could in fact still win the race. The reason given by Republicans to walk Akin off the plank was because “he couldn’t win.” When polls started showing that he could, the excuse became irrational with even the RNC chairman stating that even if the polls had him ahead, he wouldn’t get a dime from the RNC.
That’s when I decided that the RNC wouldn’t get a dime from me until we started acting with honor and integrity toward our own candidates.
Supposedly, making a mistake saying something about rape was unforgivable in the GOP. Then Karl Rove spoke to a group of wealthy donors in Tampa and not realizing a reporter was in the room, said, “We have to sink Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts.” His comments were made public, and he called Todd Akin to apologize. Despite the treatment given to him, Todd Akin accepted the apology and expressed his forgiveness to Karl.
If making a foolish remark about rape is bad, then making a joke about a United States Congressman being murdered is as bad or worse since Akin didn’t wish anyone to be raped, just spoke awkwardly and incorrectly about the likelihood of pregnancy in the event of a rape. In light of the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the remark was disturbing.
One of my political heroes is Phyllis Schlafly. Her book, “It’s a Choice, not an Echo” was influential in my life as teenager. She hasn’t always supported me, but I’ve never ceased to love and appreciate her. Below is the message she sent earlier asking that Karl Rove accept the same treatment for himself that he so publicly advocated for Akin---that he step down from all his public activities and disappear from the stage because of his inexcusable and indefensible “joke” about murdering a Congressman who is already receiving death threats. His attempt to deflect the seriousness of it by saying he wasn’t aware of the reporter’s presence actually made it worse---since Todd Akin was condemned not just for “saying” what he did, but for even “thinking” it. Obviously Karl thought it, deliberately said it, but just wasn’t aware he would be held accountable for it.
I will disagree with Phyllis on one point: If Karl and the party are as willing to forgive Todd Akin as he was to quickly forgive them, then let’s not ask for anyone to leave the battlefield. We need all of us to fight the real battle—with those who will take the nation further down the road of high taxes, more government, the slaughter of innocent unborn children, abandonment of our allies like Israel, and changing the definition of marriage.
Let’s hope that all those who have publicly called on Todd to quit the race now do what they can to help him win. If they continue to ask him to stand down, then I will expect they will demand the same of Karl. If they don’t and try to say “it’s different,” then we will finally know for sure that we are a party of personalities and not of principles. We will then know that we protect only those who are “in the club” and the rest of us are on our own. And if that is the case, then those of us not “in the club” surely will be forgiven if we spend our time, money, energy, and efforts to elect fellow outcasts and stop pretending the “club” wants us. We will simply make it clear that we are no longer willing to do the errands, clean up after the parties, and chip in for the cost just so we can be escorted out the back door lest someone see us hanging out with the swells. My suggestion is that we stop fighting each other and start working together to elect conservative Republicans and change the country. There is no need that any of us have tire tracks on our backs. I’m very willing to work with Republicans and conservatives all over the spectrum even if they don’t agree with me on all issues or the priority of them. Can I count on them to work with me in the same spirit of respect?
Hopefully, we will all play by the same set of rules. Todd erred, apologized, and we need to help him win, not convince ourselves he can’t. Karl erred, apologized, and we need to treat him in the way we want Todd Akin to be treated. If Todd is continued to be alienated and Karl doesn’t suffer the same fate, then I will encourage all the activists I can to spend all their time, money, and effort in Missouri. If the party doesn’t want us, then I guess they don’t need us. Akin will. Janet and I are sending him the maximum we can under federal law.
Phyllis Schlafly's statement:
Karl Rove has made himself toxic to Republicans by his incredibly offensive and dangerous statement suggesting the murder of Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri. Any candidate or network who hires Rove will now be tarnished with this most malicious remark ever made in Republican politics.
Just imagine if someone had made that statement about Barack Obama. The Secret Service would go on Red Alert and you can bet that the author of that remark would be in jail by now.
As quoted by a Businessweek reporter and now on the internet, Rove in Tampa told some 70 big donors to his Super PAC, American Crossroads, that every attendee should apply pressure to "sink Todd Akin" and force him out of the Senate race for which Missourians had nominated him. Then Rove said that if Akin were "found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts."
This stunning attack on Akin is now reported as a joke. Sorry, Karl, it isn’t funny to joke about murdering a Congressman.
Rove has disliked Akin ever since Akin was one of the principled members of the U.S. House who voted against George W. Bush’s extravagant expansion of Medicare when the vote was called at 5:53 am in November 2003. Akin is a man of principle who doesn’t cave in to political pressure, so he’s not Rove’s kind of politician.
Rove tried to excuse his obscene joke by saying he would not have said it if he had known a reporter was in the room. That makes his statement worse! Is murder the kind of secret political advice Rove gives to Republican donors and candidates who hire him?
A private phone call by Rove to Akin to sort of apologize does not erase the public offense. At the very least Rove should make a public apology. But even that can’t wipe out his gross political mistake.
Karl Rove is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. We don’t want any more of his advice in secret briefings or publicly on Fox News. Missourians don’t want politicians from other states telling us who to run for the Senate.
Rove has been calling on Todd Akin to resign, but the one who should resign because he made an embarrassing, malicious, and downright stupid remark is Karl Rove.