The Bell Tolls, Akin's Staying, Biden's Squealing Pigs, the Wooing of Ryan (PM Note)

The bell has tolled, Akin is staying on.

Three Words That Describe Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin Today -

Stubborn - Despite the fallout over his controversial comments about rape and pregnancy, Akin says he's not going anywhere.

"Let me make it absolutely clear," Akin said on Mike Huckabee's radio show. "We're going to continue with this race for the U.S. Senate.

Akin had until 6 p.m. ET today to withdraw, but he didn't budge despite a last minute barrage of pleas by Mitt Romney, Republican senators and four former senators from Missouri.

Sorry - In an ad out today, the Missouri Senate candidate asks his supporters for "forgiveness."

Here's a snippet: "Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault, and I pray for them."

Watch the full ad here:

Shunned - The list of Republican politicians calling for Akin to drop out of the race has only gotten longer, and Mitt Romney sits right on top.

"Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside," Romney said in a statement. "I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee - "We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake - if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC."

Also, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - "In his heart of hearts, I'm certain that he is sincerely sorry for what he said but in this instance, when the future of our country is at stake, sorry is not sufficient. To continue serving his country in the honorable way he has served throughout his career, it is time for Congressman Akin to step aside."

And Akin's fellow Missourians - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, and former Missouri U.S. Senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth, and Jim Talent - in a joint statement - "We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race. The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside."

But there was one politician who came to the defense of Akin today - Democratic rival Sen. Claire McCaskill.

ABC News Political Director Amy Walter On What This Means - "With Akin sticking to his bid, if Republicans stick by their commitment not to help or fund him, they are essentially writing off a path to the majority. That is pretty astounding."

Perspective From Matthew Dowd - "This win-at-all-costs attitude has created an environment in which both sides make patently false statements to gain advantage. And the pursuit of the truth is the major casualty in all of this."

Sandra Fluke Weighs In On The Akin-Romney-Ryan Connection For OFA - The latest attempt by the Obama campaign to link the presumptive Republican presidential ticket to Akin.

Amidst The Controversy The GOP Approves Abortion Amendment, Keeps Silent on Cases of Rape - The amendment does not mention cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. Romney supports the legality of abortion in those cases, but Republicans disagree on the point. By remaining silent on the issue, the platform leaves room for disagreement within Republican ranks.

Will They Call Him Joe? - Vice President Joe Biden will be in Florida on Monday and Tuesday, including a visit to the Tampa area, site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

He jokes, ""Any of you going to be in Florida? Well I'm the speaker at the convention. I'm gonna be down there."

He Calls Them "Squealing Pigs" - Biden presented a new image to associate with Republicans who opposed Democrats efforts to place regulations on Wall Street, characterizing them as "squealing pigs."

Meanwhile, inside the Beaver Steel warehouse… Paul Ryan said today that President Obama "sort of drops his veil" at times, apparently suggesting the president doesn't always reveal his true beliefs.

Is the Running Mate Conversation Like a Proposal? Paul Ryan Says Yes - "It was one of the most moving conversations I've ever had with anybody," Ryan told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity in excerpts released before this evening's interview. "He told me where he thought the country was headed, how we got to get back on track, his life story, what is in his heart … then he basically said, 'You share my values and you have the kind of experience I'm going to need to help me fix this country's problems.' Our experiences complement each other quite well, and we apply the same principles, founding principles, to the problems of the day. And he basically said, 'Let's go fix this country.'"

And Elsewhere On The Campaign Trail…

President Obama Pivots Attacks to Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan Education Plan - President Obama kicked off a two-day campaign swing through Ohio and Nevada today by shifting the focus of his attacks from Medicare and taxes to education, slamming the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan plan to cut student aid.

Romney Says His Campaign Spending 'a Little Wiser' Than Obama's - At a private fundraiser in Texas today, Mitt Romney took a swipe at President Obama's campaign spending habits, remarking that his own campaign has been "a little wiser" in how they've spent their money.

President Obama Says He Doesn't Take Anti-Obama Navy SEALs Group "Too Seriously"- President Obama said he isn't bothered by charges from the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund which accuses him of overseeing a leaky administration putting lives at risk, and taking too much credit for the death of Osama Bin Laden last year.

Romney Campaign Accuses President Obama of "Deceitful Rhetoric"-Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades sent out a fundraising email Tuesday morning accusing President Obama of "deceitful rhetoric."

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