Tampa, Florida (CNN) – While much of the Republican universe spent Monday condemning Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin for his comments about "legitimate rape" and abortion, one of the nation's most prominent conservative organizations rallied to his defense.Actually, a lot of very conservative people are calling on Akin to quit, although I'm inclined towards Perkins' argument. More at Memeorandum.
Two top officials from the Family Research Council said the Missouri congressman is the target of a Democratic smear campaign and chided those Republicans who have condemned Akin.
Connie Mackey, who heads the group's political action committee, said the group "strongly supports" Todd Akin.
"We feel this is a case of gotcha politics," Mackey told reporters in Tampa, where the Republican National Committee was gathering ahead of the party's convention next week. "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."
"Todd Akin is getting a really bad break here," she added. "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."
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins fired back at Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a leading moderate voice in the GOP who called Akin's remarks "outrageous" and encouraged him to drop his challenge to Democrat Claire McCaskill.
"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 said of Brown. "He has been off the reservation on a number of Republican issues, conservative issues I should say. His support among conservatives is very shallow."
So far, it doesn't look like Akin is quitting. Here's the New York Times's report, "G.O.P. Presses Akin to Quit Race Over Rape Remark." But see TPM, "Todd Akin Launches 'I'm Not Quitting' Ad Campaign."
* "Progressives Call for Rape of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin."
* "Conservatives Push for Todd Akin to Quit Missouri Senate Race."
* "'I Would Be Thinking About What's In the Best Interest of the Party' — Sean Hannity Interview With Embattled Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin."
Still more news at Memeorandum.