UPDATE 2:45: Adds reactions from Akin's campaign and Conway, and information about Akin's old arrest.
A consultant for embattled Senate candidate Todd Akin today compared Republican attacks on Akin to the 1993 federal siege of cult leader David Koresh.
"I’ve expressed this to Todd as my client for a while now, I’ve expressed it to him directly,” Akin consultant Kellyanne Conway said in interview released today by the conservative Family Research Council. “The first day or two where it was like the Waco with the David Koresh situation where they’re trying to smoke him out with the SWAT teams and the helicopters and the bad Nancy Sinatra records. Then here comes day two and you realize the guy’s not coming out of the bunker. Listen, Todd has shown his principle to the voters."
Koresh was the leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect, whose standoff with federal agents in Waco, Texas, in 1993 resulted in a fire that killed Koresh and 81 others, including 28 children.
Akin spokesman Ryan Hite has responded with a one-line written statement: "It was a stupid comment to make."
Conway said today that she was not comparing Akin to Koresh, but rather was comparing the GOP leaders who were trying to dislodge Akin to the federal agents in the standoff with Koresh.
"It was about how overbearing the Republicans had been. It was about the tactics being used to force (Akin) out," Conway said. "I wasn't comparing the (two) men. . . . I don't consider David Koresh a man of fortitude. Todd Akin is a man of fortitude."
Akin, a Republican trying to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., became a household name last month when he told an interviewer that women usually don't get pregnant from “legitimate” rape. Fellow Republicans initially abandoned him over the comment, but have started returning to support him in the past few days for fear of losing the Senate.
Conway's comments come a day after Akin sparked a mini-controversy by telling an interviewer that McCaskill fought like a “wildcat” in their first debate last week, and that she wasn't “ladylike.”
Akin also confirmed on Friday that he was arrested more than two decades ago at an anti-abortion rally. He confirmed the report after making an off-the-cuff comment about it during a recent speech.