Happy Akin-versary!

Zero score and two years ago today, Todd Akin shook the political world with his now infamous claim that “[in the case of] a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

We could go on for hours mocking Akin’s asinine comments and his recent attempt to rehabilitate his image, which included a retraction of his apology and a slew of evidence that he still doesn’t understand why anybody was offended in the first place.

But at this point, Akin is nothing more than another extreme Tea Party has-been. What’s far more important is that, while Akin may have had a unique flare for the offensive, his extreme positions on women’s health are anything but unique within the Republican party.

Supporting so-called “personhood” is the de facto position in today’s GOP — a position that could make common forms of birth control like the pill illegal. Many Republican candidates oppose abortion even in the case of rape or incest, and some have gone as far to oppose it even when the mother’s life is in danger.Republicans have voted to slash funding for Planned Parenthood and redefine rape as “forcible rape,” and the list goes on and on.

So today, American Bridge is relaunching ItsNotJustAkin.com to continue to expose Republican candidates for their ongoing efforts to regulate women’s bodies. Todd Akin may not be in Congress anymore, but his legacy lives on.

Todd Akin: The GOP Can’t Find a Way to ‘Shut That Whole Thing Down’

According to POLITICO, none other than disgraced Missouri Republican Todd Akin is attempting a comeback, complete with a book due out next week: “Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom.” POLITICO summarizes portions of the book, notably including Akin’s attempt to recant his 2012 apology for the now-infamous remarks he made about rape and abortion.

The POLITICO story — and much the resulting buzz — points out that Akin’s resurgence is unlikely to receive a warm welcome from the GOP establishment. After noting that the book’s introduction was penned by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, POLITICO comments that “few other conservatives are likely to cheer Akin’s return to the national stage,” after his offensive and incendiary comments during the last campaign cycle. This is perhaps true, and Akin’s comments about ‘legitimate rape’ were legitimately awful.

But in reality, dozens of other Republicans have demonstrated their Akin-esque views on rape, pregnancy and women’s health issues, including Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, among many others. So perhaps there is some logic — albeit twisted — to Akin’s suggestion that he was singled out by the establishment GOP and treated unfairly, given that his colleagues up and down the ticket hold similar stances on women’s health.

See for yourself just how many other members of the Republican party have earned a spot on the Todd Akin Wall of Shame at ItsNotJustAkin.com.

American Bridge Launches English/Spanish Websites Linking GOP To Steve King

American Bridge today launched AllSteveKingsMen.com and vocesintolerantes.com (in Spanish), research-based websites demonstrating that Rep. Steve King is the GOP’s leader on immigration reform.

Earlier this week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) demonstrated just how clueless he is by attempting to fundraise off offensive remarks he made comparing immigrants to dogs (and foolishly linking to American Bridge tracking footage to do so). This was what he deemed an appropriate response to a more recent controversy in which he claimed “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds–and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” Those remarks prompted Speaker John Boehner to argue that King’s comment “does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party.”

Unfortunately, Boehner is only half-correct. While the American people are deeply opposed to the bigotry espoused by King, the Republican caucus is solidly aligned with King’s worldview. Last week, American Bridge released a report showing that when the House votes on immigration legislation, the majority of King’s Republican colleagues follow his lead 9 out of 10 times. And today, American Bridge launched AllSteveKingsMen.com to show voters that the Republican Party has plenty of followers of King’s extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Read more after the jump.

RELAUNCH: ItsNotJustAkin.com

“Legitimate rape.” Forced ultrasounds. “Something that God intended.” These aren’t isolated gaffes, but a fundamental problem in GOP policies on rape, pregnancy and women’s personal health care decisions. Even if they don’t talk about it the same way, the shocking views expressed by Todd Akin are shared by many others in the Republican Party.

ItsNotJustAkin.com

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: The Extreme Views Of “Women for Ken”

Recently, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli announced the support of “Women for Ken.” Considering Cuccinelli’s record on issues of importance to Virginia women, the organization is reminiscent of the “Women for Akin” group that backed the Missouri Congressman even after he infamously claimed “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

A closer examination of the list reveals that the comparison is apt – among the list of Cuccinelli supporters one will find some of the same women who rushed forward to defend Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, who called a pregnancy resulting from rape “something that God intended.” It’s not surprising that they place Cuccinelli in the same company.

Many of these women have been affiliated with the organizations and candidates who are most adamant about denying women the opportunity to make decisions about their own body or curtailing their access to health care. The list also includes the sponsor of the Virginia legislation that would have required women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before they could have an abortion.

The “Women for Ken” have made clear that they support Cuccinelli because he shares their views on the treatment on Virginia women and families. It’s worth keeping in mind what he had to do to earn the support of people like this.

Read more after the jump.

American Bridge Wins Reed Awards For Best Direct Mail Piece, IE Campaign

Arlington, VA – Campaigns & Elections announced that American Bridge 21st Century has been awarded multiple 2013 Reed Awards for excellence in the categories of Best Direct Mail Piece of 2012 and Independent Expenditure Campaign.

The awards recognized American Bridge’s groundbreaking “talking” mailer titled “Todd Akin: We’ve Heard Enough.” After first discovering and disseminating Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” comments, American Bridge utilized the talking mailer to educate Missouri voters about Todd Akin’s extreme positions on many issues. In addition to his views on rape, the mailer showed Akin’s out-of-the-mainstream stances on Medicare, Social Security and student loans.

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Ryan And Forcible Rape

Ryan Co-Sponsored “Forcible Rape” Language With Todd Akin

Ryan Co-Sponsored “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act” With Todd Akin To Narrow Definition Of Rape To “Forcible Rape.” According to the Huffington Post, “Ryan also cosponsored the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ with Akin in 2011. The GOP tried to narrow the definition of rape as it related to abortions with the measure. Only in instances of ‘forcible rape,’ the bill specified, would a woman be eligible to have her abortion covered under insurance. The sentiment behind the notorious attempt to redefine rape was echoed in Akin’s comment on Sunday.” [Huffington Post, 8/19/12]

In 2009, Ryan Backed “Limitations On Abortion Mandates” Amendment To Prevent Abortion Coverage Under Health Care Legislation Except In Cases Of Risk To Life Of The Mother, “Forcible Rape” Or Incest. According to NBC, “Three years ago, the then-39-year-old congressman co-sponsored an abortion-related amendment called ‘Limitations on Abortion Mandates.’ That proposed amendment was blocked in what was a Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee. Ryan and only one co-sponsor, Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, proposed a change to health-care legislation that would have required health insurance cover abortion services.  The Ryan-Johnson failed amendment did specify limited exceptions, permitting abortion coverage including when the life of the mother is at stake and in line 16 of the proposed text ‘… unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of forcible rape or incest.’ … The amendment was proposed by and carried the name of a more senior Republican colleague, Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas. Ryan joined Johnson in offering the amendment.” [NBC News, 8/22/12]

Read more after the jump.

Todd Akin’s Top Ten Crazy Moments

Rep. Todd Akin forever entered the political lexicon and emerged as a national punch line with his comments on “legitimate rape.” For casual observers, the comments raised the question of how an individual holding such an extreme view not only wins a Senate primary, but holds onto a seat in the House of Representatives for over a decade. Indeed, such concerns are well warranted. Rather than an isolated incident, these remarks are just the latest in a long line of outrageous comments from Akin.

Read more after the jump.