Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on Monday blasted her Republican Senate opponent, Rep. W. Todd Akin, for comments he made this weekend that women’s bodies can prevent conception in cases of “legitimate rape.”
Mr. Akin, who won the state’s GOP primary earlier this month, has been harshly criticized by Democrats and some Republicans since he made the comments while trying to justify his opposition to abortion for rape victims during an interview that aired Sunday on KTVI-TV in St. Louis.
“This statement is sort of a window into Todd Akin’s mind,” Mrs. McCaskill said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “This is incredibly painful because it shows how many people are out there — sometimes in incredibly powerful positions — that don’t understand the trauma.”
Mr. Akin released a statement later Sunday saying that he “misspoke” during the interview, but subsequent fallout could hurt his chances of winning the Senate seat for which he long has been considered the clear favorite.
A poll released last week by SurveyUSA showed Mr. Akin with a lead of 51 percent to 40 percent, and other polls in recent months have shown him with leads of 3 to 8 percentage points.
In addition to rebukes from Democrats, the Romney campaign released a statement Sunday saying it disagrees with Mr. Akin’s remarks and does not oppose abortions for rape victims.