CNN’s Soledad O’Brien continued her recent strong reporting streak Wednesday when she spoke to the CEO of a Republican Super PAC that pulled its ads in Missouri in the wake of Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) “legitimate rape” statement.
Steven Law, president of American Crossroads, which was co-founded by Fox News and Wall Street Journal contributor Karl Rove, said that Akin’s re-election campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was winnable – at one point.
“This firestorm that Todd Akin has created for himself has engulfed not only him, but we think any chance whatsoever of being able to salvage this race as long as he’s in the race,” Law said.
When O’Brien pointed out that Akin had been leading in early polling before his catastrophic remarks this past weekend, Law took the opportunity to further paint him as a problematic candidate.
“Not only did he issue an unbelievable, jaw dropping and over the line comment about rape in connection with abortion, but he said a number of other things about student loans, about child nutrition programs, about civil rights laws,” Law said. “He’s just said a large number of things that can be use very effectively against him.”
As ThinkProgress reported earlier this week, Akin was one of just five lawmakers who voted against a plan to help children qualify faster for school lunches. He had also suggested federal legislation protecting voters’ rights should be “looked at or overturned.” And according to the Huffington Post, Akin had made a disparaging remark about federal student loans in April.
“America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in,” Akin said at the time.
Law did not specify, however, whether his group had any objections to these remarks before the “legitimate rape” incident ocurred, or whether it agreed with any of Akin’s other statements, instead focusing on their strategic worth to McCaskill, and the danger of him staying in a race he might lose, thus preventing a Republican Senate majority.
“He’s, unfortunately, just undone his own candidacy,” Law said. “He, unfortunately, doesn’t recognize yet that he’s dealt a mortal blow to his own candidacy.”
When O’Brien and her panelists pointed out the similarity between Akin’s stance on abortion exemptions and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s position, Law doubled down on painting Akin as the Democrats’ dream candidate.
“That’s certainly the effort Democrats will want to make,” Law said, to which O’Brien replied, “But it’s also true.”
The conversation between O’Brien and Law, aired Wednesday on CNN, can be seen via Mediaite below.