A spokesman for Missouri Rep. and Senate candidate Todd Akin said that Tuesday’s launch of a website targeting women voters was a mistake, after the campaign quickly removed the site when it was found to contain an embarrassing gaffe.
The website featured a photo with three women standing next to Mr. Akin, but one of them is a “tracker” for the Missouri Democratic Party who has been shadowing his public events for more than a year.
The mistake is especially embarrassing for the campaign, which has found itself defending the Republican lawmaker’s views on women after he prompted national outrage last month by claiming that victims of “legitimate” rape rarely become pregnant.
Akin spokesman Ryan Hite said the site went live prematurely, before the campaign had made the final decisions on the photos and other features. A new website was launched in its place this morning.
“This page is simply a draft version that was not approved for public release. Photos and other design features are just tests to view page sizes and changes, not the final photos to be used,” Mr. Hite wrote in an email to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
But the switch handed an easy shot to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is defending her seat against Mr. Akin.
“I suspect they were so desperate to find women that they had to borrow one of ours,” joked McCaskill spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki.
The website also contained a spelling error, with a headline that said “I’m a women, and I support Todd.” It’s not the first time Mr. Akin has been plagued by spelling woes, after a section of his website misspelled “you’re” as “your” last month.