Rep. Todd Akin says he has no plans to withdraw as Missouri’s Republican candidate for Senate after drawing national criticism for his comments on rape and pregnancy.
In his first interview since telling St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI that “legitimate rape” typically does not result in pregnancy, Akin appeared on Mike Huckabee’s syndicated radio show and apologized for the comments.
“I’ve really made a couple of serious mistakes here that were just wrong, and I need to apologize for those,” Akin said. “Let me be clear: Rape is never legitimate. It’s an evil act that’s committed by violent predators. I used the wrong words in the wrong way. What I said was ill conceived, and it was wrong, and for that I apologize.”
Republican Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Rob Johnson of Wisconsin have called on Akin to drop out of Missouri’s Senate race, and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn hinted at the same, issuing a prepared statement urging Akin to “carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”
Nevertheless, Akin said he has no plans to withdraw.
“I don’t know that I’m the only person in public office who’s suffered from foot-in-mouth disease here, and this was a very, very serious error. On the other hand, there are so many good people in Missouri who nominated me, and they understood my heart,” Akin said.
“I feel just as strongly as ever that my background and ability will be a big asset in replacing Claire McCaskill and putting some sanity back in what’s going on,” he said.
Akin said no Republicans have called him and asked him to withdraw from the race.
“No one has called me and said, ‘Todd, I think you should drop out,’” Akin said. “No one has said that. But I gather people are saying that in the media, but they didn’t specifically call me and tell me that.”