Akin Defies GOP, Won't Drop Out of Senate Race

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WASHINGTON - Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin reaffirmed that  he has no plans to drop out of the Missouri Senate race in the wake of a controversial comment he made about rape and pregnancy.

"I misspoke one word in one sentence on one day, and all of a sudden, overnight, everybody decides, 'Well, Akin can't possibly win,'" he said on a national radio show Tuesday hosted by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. "Well, I don't agree with that."

In a video issued by his campaign called Forgiveness Akin again apologized for his choice of words.

"As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators," he says in the video. "I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them." 

"The fact is rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness," he said.

Akin landed in hot water for his response in an interview on KTVI-TV Sunday 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.

Will Akin survive this firestorm and how will it impact the Republicans' chances of winning nationwide? Guy Benson, political editor for Townhall.com, spoke more about the fallout, on CBN Newswatch, Aug. 21.

His remarks triggered an avalanche of condemnation from his opponent in the Missouri Senate race, the president, and even members of his own party.

Fellow Republicans dumped their political and financial support, pressuring him to bow out and make way for another candidate to challenge incumbent Claire McCaskill.

McCaskill is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats this cycle. Some fear the GOP's chances of winning the majority in the Senate would be next to impossible with Akin's name on the ballot.

But one poll, conducted in the wake of the fallout, shows him leading McCaskill by just one point, though 75 percent found his remarks "inappropriate."

Throughout his political career, Akin has championed conservative values.

In a CBN News interview earlier this year, the Missouri lawmaker explained why he authored a bill to protect chaplains against demotion or punishment for expressing religious views that oppose homosexuality.

"This is a legitimate conscience protection act," he said.

But his poorly-constructed remark about rape has cost him support from some Christian leaders.

"Although I respect the record of Congressman Akin, especially in the pro-life community, some comments are so offensive and indefensible that one must assume the full consequences and responsibility for making them," Rev. Pat Mahoney, with the Christian Defense Coalition said, urging Akin to step down.

Monday night, Akin posted on his Facebook page that he was staying in the race, a move some Republicans believe will cost them the election well before voters even head to the polls.

The congressman also went on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's radio show to apologize.

"I made that statement in error," Akin said. "Let me be clear, rape is never legitimate. What I said was ill-conceived and it was wrong. And for that I apologize."

Republicans had gained ground with women voters, but according to CBN News chief political correspondent David Brody, Akin's gaffe is a setback Democrats will take advantage of.

"It gives the Democrats another nugget in the 'war on women' narrative and look for it to play out you can be sure, not just with Democrats but in the media for months for sure," Brody predicted.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.