Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin went on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's radio show Monday to apologize for comments he made about rape and pregnancy, saying rape is "never legitimate."
Akins got in hot water for his response in an interview Sunday on KTVI-TV when he was asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.
"It seems to me, first of all, 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," he said.
Later Sunday, Akin released a statement saying that he "misspoke" during the interview.
The "off-the-cuff remarks" do "not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year," Akin's statement said.
Akin also said he believes "deeply in the protection of all life" and does "not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action."
On Monday, Republican Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin urged Akin to withdraw from the race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Romney and Ryan also condemned Akins comments, saying they the "Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."
Still, the 65-year-old congressman, who won the state's Republican Senate primary by a comfortable margin, is not backing down.
"The good people of Missouri nominated me, and I'm not a quitter," Akins said. "And my belief is we're going to take this thing forward and by the grace of God, we're going to win this race."
Akin has been a favorite among evangelical Christians. He has run TV ads in which Huckabee praised him as "a courageous conservative" and "a Bible-based Christian" who "supports traditional marriage" and "defends the unborn."
If the congressman were to step out of the race, he would need to decide that by Tuesday at 5 p.m., according to Missouri election laws.
State election law allows candidates to withdraw 11 weeks before Election Day. Otherwise, a court order would be needed to remove a candidate's name from the ballot.
The Republican state committee would then have two weeks to name a replacement and the candidate would be required to file within 28 days of Akin's exit.