The Tea Party Express joined a growing chorus of Republicans in calling for Todd Akin to drop out of Missouri’s Senate race Monday, saying that the furor over Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment was “distracting” voters from important issues.
Likening Akin to gaffe-prone Vice President Joe Biden, the conservative grassroots group urged the Missouri Congressman to step aside so that the GOP could field a candidate “capable of putting together a strong campaign” against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.
Here’s the full statement from Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer:
“Congressman Akin’s comments this weekend are not just unfortunate and inappropriate, but they are distracting from our main goal of defeating Claire McCaskill and taking the Senate gavel out of the hands of Harry Reid. At a time when our national debt is approaching $16 trillion, job growth is stagnate, and the Senate has failed to pass a budget in over 3 years, we need a candidate that is ready to help lead the charge for conservative solutions.
“One of the lessons we learned in 2010 is that we need candidates who are not only conservative, but are capable of putting together a strong campaign against liberal opponents. Akin’s frequent ‘Bidenisms’ are distracting from the important issues at hand.
“It is critical that we defeat Senator Claire McCaskill in November, but it will be too difficult to achieve that with Todd Akin as the conservative alternative. He should step down and give conservatives a chance at taking back the Senate in November.”
Although the Tea Party Express does not mention any possible replacement candidates by name, it is possible that the group sees another opening for former Missouri state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, who won the Tea Party Express endorsement over Akin in the Republican Senate primary.
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