Missouri conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly on Saturday denounced Karl Rove, George W. Bush's top political operative who now heads the deep-pocketed Crossroads GPS political fund.
Rove "has made himself toxic" to Republicans, she said.
"Karl Rove is an embarrassment to the Republican Party," Schlafly said.
Her statement comes a day after to U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin for joking that Akin might have to be bumped off to get him out of the race. Akin is resisting calls to step down after his offensive remarks about rape victims two weeks ago.
Here's Schlafly's statement:
"Karl Rove has made himself toxic to Republicans by his incredibly offensive and dangerous statement suggesting the murder of Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri. Any candidate or network who hires Rove will now be tarnished with this most malicious remark ever made in Republican politics.
"Just imagine if someone had made that statement about Barack Obama. The Secret Service would go on Red Alert and you can bet that the author of that remark would be in jail by now.
"As quoted by a Businessweek reporter and now on the internet, Rove in Tampa told some 70 big donors to his Super PAC, American Crossroads, that every attendee should apply pressure to 'sink Todd Akin' and force him out of the Senate race for which Missourians had nominated him. Then Rove said that if Akin were 'found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts.'
"This stunning attack on Akin is now reported as a joke. Sorry, Karl, it isn’t funny to joke about murdering a Congressman.
"Rove has disliked Akin ever since Akin was one of the principled members of the U.S. House who voted against George W. Bush’s extravagant expansion of Medicare when the vote was called at 5:53 am in November 2003. Akin is a man of principle who doesn’t cave in to political pressure, so he’s not Rove’s kind of politician.
"Rove tried to excuse his obscene joke by saying he would not have said it if he had known a reporter was in the room. That makes his statement worse! Is murder the kind of secret political advice Rove gives to Republican donors and candidates who hire him?
"A private phone call by Rove to Akin to sort of apologize does not erase the public offense. At the very least Rove should make a public apology. But even that can’t wipe out his gross political mistake.
"Karl Rove is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. We don’t want any more of his advice in secret briefings or publicly on Fox News. Missourians don’t want politicians from other states telling us who to run for the Senate.
Rove has been calling on Todd Akin to resign, but the one who should resign because he made an embarrassing, malicious, and downright stupid remark is Karl Rove."