With an hour left to go for him to be able to seamlessly drop out of the race, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) went on the Sean Hannity show for the second time in as many days to confirm that he’s decided not to drop out.
While acknowledging that a “hefty lineup” of lawmakers have asked him to drop out of the race, “one of the things that’s involved here is a question of principle,” Akin said.
Of Mitt Romney’s call today for Akin to step aside in his Senate contest, Akin said, “Why couldn’t he run his race and I run mine?”
“You misspeak one time, one place, one word,” the congressman said. “Don’t you think that this is a little hyperbole going on here?”
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said on a local TV station Sunday.
“This is not about me,” Akin insisted to Hannity. “Is it possible that the Republican message could be improved if we were strong?”
He added that he had just spoken with Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “He recognized I had to make a tough decision here,” Akin said. “We talked about it some.”
Though Ryan advised him to think about stepping aside, “he didn’t tell me what to do; that’s because he’s a very respectful and decent guy.”
“The people in Missouri chose me to get the job done,” Akin said.
“They chose you before the mistake,” Hannity interjected.
“Yeah, that’s true,” the congressman muttered.
“Each of us has to look in our heart; we have to try to do what’s right,” Akin added. “My decision is to stay in this race … to make sure that the government is a servant and not the master.”
After Akin hung up, Hannity declared, “The happiest person in this interview is going to be Claire McCaskill.”