(NEW YORK) — The Republican Party may want Todd Akin to disappear, but a dark joke made by GOP strategist Karl Rove has hit a nerve with the congressman’s office.
“We should sink Todd Akin,” Rove said at a fundraiser during the Republican National Convention, according to a Bloomberg News report. “If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
The congressional office of the six-term congressman and Senate candidate from Missouri responded Friday afternoon, suggesting the joke was in dangerously bad taste, given recent threats against Akin and his family.
Akin drew national attention to the Missouri race after his controversial comments about rape and abortion, when he said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
“Given the current FBI investigation of threats against Congressman Akin and calls for acts of violence and rape against his family and staff, joking as to the potential murder of Congressman Akin is deeply disturbing. I am certain he misspoke,” Akin’s district director, Steve Taylor, said in a written statement released on Friday.
Soon after Akin’s remarks about rape and pregnancy, Capitol Police acknowledged an investigation into threats against Akin, and in a press conference last week, his first since making the remarks about rape, Akin said threats had been made against him and his family, including threats of rape.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Heather Long, CNN
Gregory Krieg, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN