Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said on the Mike Huckabee Show moments ago that he has no intention of dropping out of the Senate race against Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the wake of controversial comments he made about rape and abortion.
“I’ve really made a couple of serious mistakes here that were wrong and I need to apologize for those,” Akin said by phone on the show in his first media appearance since the scandal broke.
On a local TV station, Akin was discussing his policy on pregnancy resulting from sexual assault: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
“Rape is never legitimate; it’s an evil act committed by violent predators,” Akin said today. “I’ve even known some women who have been raped.”
“I’ve spoken in error. I wanted to get that straight off the bat,” the congressman continued. “I was talking about forcible rape and it was absolutely the wrong word.”
He also conceded that “women do become pregnant from rape.”
Huckabee asked Akin about calls from within the GOP for him to step down from the Senate race — notably, from Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
“I don’t know that I’m the only person in public office who’s suffered from a foot-and-mouth disease here,” Akin said. “This was a very serious error. On the other hand, there are so many good people in Missouri who nominated me.”
“I’m not a quitter and my belief is we’re going to take this thing forward,” he added. “I’ve not yet begun to fight. …Just because somebody made a mistake doesn’t make them useless.”
“No one has called me and said, ‘Todd, I think you should drop out.’ I think they are saying it in the media but no one specifically called me and said that.”
UPDATE: The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, John Cornyn (R-Texas), responded by advising Akin to keep thinking about it. “Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” Cornyn said in a statement. “I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next twenty-four hours, Congressman Akin should 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.”
UPDATE 2: After rumors that Akin would be dropping out of the race tomorrow, Akin told Sean Hannity on his radio show, “I was told a decision had to be made by 5 p.m. tomorrow.” Then the congressman said he’s not dropping out.
Before going on the show, Akin tweeted, “I am in this race to win. We need a conservative Senate. Help me defeat Claire by donating.”