By Amie Parnes - 08/23/12 01:01 AM EDT
President Obama on Wednesday used Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) — the embattled candidate running for Senate — as an example of how the Republican Party is antiquated and "fight[s] fights that we thought were settled 20 or 30 years ago."
Speaking at a dinner in New York, before the likes of basketball legend Michael Jordan, Obama ripped Akin and Republicans for being out of touch.
Akin, in an interview with a local St. Louis station on Sunday, was asked to explain his opposition to abortion for pregnancies caused by rape.
"It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said.
Akin said later, in a statement, that he “misspoke.” But his comments sparked a firestorm of criticism from all quarters, with Republican leaders, including presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, calling on Akin to drop out of the Senate race. So far, Akin has insisted he's staying in the contest.
During his remarks, Obama accused the Republican Party of having "gone so far to the extreme that it becomes very hard for us to see Washington getting anything done."
He also slammed Romney for having an economic plan that aims to give wealthy Americans — or, as Obama put it, "everyone in this room" — a tax cut.
"The fact of the matter is, we can't afford it," he said.
With Jordan and other basketball players in the crowd, Obama said he couldn't "resist a basketball analogy" to sum up the state of the race, which he said was in the fourth quarter.
"We're up by a few points, but the other side is coming strong and they ... they play a little dirty," he said to laughter. "We've got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. We've got a couple of injuries and I believe that they've got one last run in them.
“I’d say there’s about seven minutes to go in the game," he continued. "And Michael’s competitiveness is legendary, and nobody knows better than Michael that if you’ve got a little bit of a lead and there’s about seven minutes to go, that’s when you put them away.”