Mitt Romney's campaign, fresh off of choosing Paul Ryan for his vice presidential pick as noted by the Christian Science Monitor , wants to focus this week's discussion on issues that will give him the edge over President Barack Obama.
Instead, the Romney-Ryan campaign finds it must distance itself from controversial comments made by a Republican Senate candidate, and news that a group of Republican Representatives used part of a foreign policy fact-finding mission as an opportunity to swim in the Sea of Galilee -- one of them in the nude, according to Politico .
Here's a look at the way the political week is shaping up, and how the presidential candidates are responding to events as they happen.
Representative backpedaled on rape pregnancy comments
Representative Todd Akin, who had an 11-point lead over incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri according to SurveyUSA on Aug. 12, may have not only managed to put his campaign in a tailspin, but has caused political reverberations all the way up to the Romney camp.
Akin told St. Louis television station KTVI that rape victims were unlikely to become pregnant, saying, "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," according to the Associated Press .
Akin emailed a statement saying that he'd "misspoke in this interview," but noted that he would still oppose abortion rights for rape victims.
Romney: Akin's comments "inexcusable"
The Romney campaign quickly issued a response, saying "Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong," during an interview with the National Review . "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.
Romney added, "I have an entirely different view. What he said is entirely without merit and he should correct it."
FBI probed swimming in Sea of Galilee
While neither campaign has commented on the incident yet, the FBI has looked into an evening swim in the Christian holy site of the Sea of Galilee that took place last year. The swim involved a number of Republican legislators on a fact-finding trip to Israel. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas has apologized for disrobing entirely during the swim, an illegal act at the Sea of Galilee.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the most senior member of the House on the trip, rebuked participating legislators the next day for the incident. The FBI investigated to see if inappropriate behavior took place, but there have been no formal allegations of wrongdoing reported.
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington in Gaithersburg, Md.