Akin vows to stay in Missouri Senate race despite GOP ire

August 22, 2012

By David Hill-The Washington Times

Defiant Rep. W. Todd Akin of Missouri vowed Tuesday to stay in his state’s U.S. Senate race as the Republican nominee, letting pass an initial withdrawal deadline despite near-unanimous demands from Mitt Romney and a parade of prominent Republicans that he step aside after his insensitive remarks about rape and abortion.

For a third straight day, Mr. Akin expressed remorse over his comments during a television interview aired Sunday, in which he explained his opposition to abortion for rape victims by saying that women rarely get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.” But he stood firm in maintaining that he is the best Republican candidate to take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in a race in which his comfortable lead now appears all but gone.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney joined in calling for Mr. Akin to step aside Tuesday after more Missouri Republicans including U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and four former senators urged the congressman to withdraw for the party’s sake.

“Todd Akin’s comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of the country,” Mr. Romney said in a statement. “Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.”

Top Republicans and conservative commentators have piled on Mr. Akin since his comments, threatening to withhold funding from his campaign and accusing him of putting his own aspirations ahead of the party’s chances of winning the seat, gaining a Senate majority and taking Missouri in the presidential race.

The congressman had until Tuesday evening to drop out of the race with no strings attached, but he must now receive a court’s permission and pay the cost for printing new ballots if he chooses to withdraw before a Sept. 25 deadline.

If he withdraws, Missouri’s Republican Party central committee would pick his replacement.

Mr. Akin pledged to stay in the race during an interview Tuesday afternoon on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s radio show, in which he suggested there has been “a little bit of an overreaction” to his comments.

He released a 30-second campaign ad earlier in the day asking the public’s forgiveness.

“The fact is rape can lead to pregnancy,” he said. “The truth is rape has many victims. The mistake I made is in the words I said, not in the heart I hold.”

To read more, visit: Akin vows to stay in Missouri Senate race despite GOP ire – Washington Times


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