The race for U.S. Senate in Missouri is bigger than just besieged Republican candidate Todd Akin, and perhaps the congressman should drop out of the race, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson said Wednesday on CNBC.
“People are amazed that someone could say that. You assume that he believes what he’s saying. It just doesn’t have a place in the discourse today,” she said on “The Kudlow Report.”
The anti-abortion congressman was pilloried this week after making an outlandish claim that it was rare for a woman to become pregnant from “legitimate rape.”
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he said in an interview. “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
The comments prompted prominent Republicans facing elections to call for his withdrawal from the race. Among them, Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, a co-sponsor of several anti-abortion bills Akin supported.
Hutchinson told host Larry Kudlow that the focus should remain on economic issues.
“We’ve got to have the votes to repeal Obamacare so we can get back to a health care system that will allow more access to health care by more people, but not at the risk of ruining health care coverage for so many of the businesses that are not going to cover their employees,” she said.
“I know there is still time for him to think so carefully about what we need to do for this country. It’s a pivotal year. This is a watershed year for our country,” Hutchinson added. “Does he really want to go in with the wounds that he has? Maybe later he could recover and do something else and a run for something else, but we are talking about the end of August and the election is in November.”
"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.
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