Donald Trump's Todd Akin Moment

In 2012, Todd Akin went into an interview, got asked some tough, leading questions, and …blew it. Todd Akin’s campaign died on the heels of him stupidly declaring that ‘legitimate rape’ victims rarely get pregnant, raising questions about his understanding of medical science and sympathy towards rape victims; his doomed campaign limped into the election and went down in certain defeat. In the same way, in an interview with Chris Matthews, Donald Trump just destroyed years of effort by the pro-life movement and other conservatives with his uninformed and unnecessary statement that as a pro-lifer, he thinks there would be some punishment for women who have abortions.

MATTHEWS: … Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?

TRUMP: The answer is there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?


MATTHEWS: 10 cents, 10 years, what?

TRUMP: I don’t know. That I don’t know.


Donald Trump has become a self-caricature. His uninformed and damaging comment is not what a life-long pro-life conservative would say, but is a parody of what a conservative would say. He has been rightly condemned by many in the pro-life movement and other conservatives. Donald Trump has been a non-conservative pandering fraud, making statements and taking positions that he doesn’t really believe and hasn’t really thought through.

But unlike Todd Akin, it’s not one statement that does him in. We have long wondered what would do the Teflon Don in. But this week we have had a serious dose of serial stupidity from Trump, showing that Trump is seriously deficient in temperment, in knowledge and common decency, not to mention lack of core conservative convictions:

  • Going into the gutter with a retweet attacking Heidi Cruz. Then later, when challenged on it, he acted like a 5-year-old justifying it by falsely accusing Cruz campaign of ‘starting it first’.
  • Bizarrely declaring that the Geneva Convention is a rules of engagement problem: “The problem is we have the Geneva Conventions, all sorts of rules and regulations, so the soldiers are afraid to fight.”
  • Declaring the Supreme Court would look into Hillary emails, oblivious to basic differences between executive branch investigations and judicial branch responsibilities.
  • Standing by a staffer who should be at least reprimanded, if not fired: His campaign manager man-handles a journalist, then lies about it, blames the victim. Instead of apologizing, Trump stands by him.

It’s almost unfair to Todd Akin, the ambushed slow-on-the-uptake but at least sentient Republican who made one mistake, to compare him to Donald Trump. The above bulletted list is just some of the gaffes and outrages of this week.  The deluded Trumpists are voting for a corrupt cronyist lying new york liberal phony who has not thought through the issues.

Will this have election impact? It already has. It is a mistake to think because Trump has still got his core of 30% support in GOP primary polls that he is not impacted. We see it already. Even before these comments, Trump’s prior trash-talking of women, his various rude, childish statements and actions, etc. took a toll. Trump is unelectable:

  • Women are turned off Trump: Trump has 73% unfavorables with women. In a hypothetical matchup with Clinton, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found this month that Trump loses the women’s vote by 21 points.
  • Trump is toxic with voters overall. Donald Trump has a higher unfavorability rating than any nominated candidate from either major political party since Gallup began tracking favorability in 1992, at over 60%. Why? Only a quarter of voters in the polling believe Trump is trustworthy; he’s the only candidate viewed as less trustworthy than Clinton.
  • Republicans, in particular Republican are saying ‘no mas’ to Trump: This month, about half (47 percent) of Republican female primary voters said they could not imagine themselves voting for Trump. About 40 percent of male GOP primary voters said the same.
  • The latest Marquette poll of Wisconsin (the same one showing Cruz up 10 points for the GOP primary) shows that in that swing state, Trump has 21% favorables and 70% unfavorables among all voters. In head to head polls, Cruz runs even with Hillary and Kasich beats Hillary handily, but Trump loses by double digits to Hillary.  This head-to-head is consistent with national polls showing Trump down by double digits.

Trump is unelectable now, and Trump’s gaffes, lack of  policy understanding, low-class loutishness, willingness to lie despite clear evidence contradicting it, and his divisiveness will keep him unelectable. None of this means Trump cannot become the nominee. He will simply and certainly be a disaster as a nominee. If nominated, Trump will be our next Todd Akin, a sure loser, a big anchor on the rest of the ticket.