Akin Latest

My reporter’s notebook, unfurled on “Morning Joe”:

“They geared up in a big hurry. They don’t have him out of the race yet. There are some who are worried they won’t get him out by 5 o’clock today. But they’ve done a good job of cutting off the damage of trying to get the party on record against what Congressman Akin said, what he said that was so wrong, and inappropriate, and offensive to people. There’s still the challenge though to get him out. He’s got a new ad that he says he’s going to put on the air to try to save himself. Some Republicans think he’s still in denial. But for Governor Romney, for Paul Ryan, for the national party, they did move pretty quick and, from a tactical point of view, that was impressive.”

“Well, they don’t have him out yet so although they’ve reacted quickly, they still haven’t figured it out. And one person we haven’t heard from is Roy Blunt, the Republican Senator from Missouri. He could be decisive in this. I will say that, you know, I take a little bit of exception with John. I think some Republicans have reacted not just out of political expediency but because they’re offended by what Congressman Akin said. The importance for the Republican party here is, from an electoral point of view, is the female vote. And the Romney campaign can say, you know what, this doesn’t concern us. This isn’t part of what we’re talking about. They have to close the gender gap. The voters who will decide this, if you were to pick one group, is probably women, slightly older women, and Republicans need to get right with this as quickly as possible and move on. As long as Akin’s there, the Senate seat is in peril, probably mortally in peril, and they’re going to have to keep talking about these issues. They must get him out so they can get a new nominee, move on, and not sacrifice that key Senate seat.”

“Well, we hadn’t seen the President come out and talk for a while and, obviously, he chose the moment with a purpose to talk about that issue and some others. Just to go back to what Mika was saying about Ryan calling, I think Mika was absolutely right. They wanted to put the word out that there was distance between those guys. The challenge that they have for getting him out is he was difficult to reach yesterday and a lot of Republicans are going with the stick approach to try to get him out, saying no more funding, you can’t win this race. Some think they might need more carrots to get him out. They might need to figure out some way to get him from the denial he’s in, as a guy who just won a tough primary and thinks he’s going to be the next senator from Missouri, to realize, you’re not going to do that, but let’s find something else for you to do. They need to get him on the phone and make him some offer. Something. Something. The people who are trying to game this out and figure out how can they induce him to leave the race are politicians who recognize this guy thought he was going to be a United States senator in January. What can they find for him so he can see fit to say, alright, I’ve got a different path to go in.”

Related Topics: Mark Halperin, Morning Joe, Todd Akin, 2012 Elections, News, Republican Party, The Page, Video

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