TAMPA, Florida — Tony Perkins, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, stood by embattled Missouri Rep. Todd Akin a day after he claimed that "legitimate rape" doesn't result in pregnancies, sparking a national furor.
"We support him fully and completely," said FRC Action PAC president Connie Mackey.
Perkins and Mackey expressed support for Akin in the face of what they called "gotcha politics," issuing a stern warning to Republicans — including Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown — against criticizing Akin.
"We feel this is a case of gotcha politics," Mackey told reporters outside of the Republican National Committee's platform committee discussions. "He has been elected five times in that community in Missouri. They know who Todd Akin is. We know who Todd Akin is. We’ve worked with him up on the Hill. He’s a defender of life. He’s a defender of families and this just a controversy built up, I think, it looks as though, to support his opposition. Claire Mccaskill on the other hand, has supported planned parenthood all these years, which is under investigation for use of funds, for cover up on statuatory rape and I think that Todd Akin is getting a really bad break here."
Perkins and Mackey declined to comment on the substance of Akin's controversial charge.
"I don’t know anything about the science or the legal implications of his statement. I do know politics, and I know gotcha politics when I see it," Mackey added.
Perkins called the controversy an attempt to divert attention form McCaskill. "Claire McCaskill has been supportive of planned parenthood, an organization that has been under investigation for criminal activity," Perkins said.
"For other Republicans, I have not seen Scott Brown’s statement, but he should be careful because based on some of his statements there may be some call for him to get out of his race," Perkins added.
Asked what he was referring to, Perkins said that Brown has been "off the reservation on a number of Republican issues, conservative issues."
"His support among conservatives is very shallow," he added.