N.J.’s Christie Calls Republican’s Rape Remark ‘Asinine’

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, said a senate candidate’s remark that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy was “asinine” and “ridiculous.”

“I’m not going out there working for him,” the Republican governor said of Todd Akin, who told an interviewer that he opposed abortion in cases of rape because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Christie, 49, who has campaigned across the nation for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and other Republicans, spurned pleas from some party members to make a bid for the White House. He’ll deliver the centerpiece speech next week at the convention, where Romney will officially become the party’s presidential nominee.

Romney said Akin’s comments were “insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” according to National Review Online, which cited an interview. Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts urged Akin to step aside, while John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, urged Akin to “carefully consider” whether he should stay in the race.

Christie said Akin, 65, a Missouri congressman who’s running to oust Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, “should be ashamed of himself.”

Asked if he thought Akin should drop out, Christie told reporters at a news briefing in Asbury Park, “That’s his call to make.”

The first-term governor, who’s been on a beach vacation in New Jersey, said he’s on the seventh draft of his convention speech. He said he’s previewed it to his wife, his children and “a small group of people,” without giving details.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elise Young in Asbury Park, New Jersey at eyoung30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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