ST. LOUIS — Rep. Todd Akin has reiterated his intention to stay in the Missouri Senate race after making comments that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.”
Akin told former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on a Tuesday radio show that he was staying in because there were people who feel they aren’t represented by the major political parties.
He also reaffirmed his stand as an anti-abortion lawmaker.
Akin told former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on his radio show that he was staying in because there were people who feel they aren’t represented by the major political parties.
The announcement came just as Missouri’s current and former U.S. senators released a statement calling for Akin to get out of the race.
Akin’s recent comments were termed “totally unacceptable” in a joint statement from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and former Missouri U.S. Senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent.
The current and former senators said “we do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race.
“The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside.”
Akin vowed to fight on in his embattled Senate campaign, but a significant deadline loomed Tuesday that was bound to intensify pressure on the Missouri congressman to abandon the race.
Akin has been frantically trying to salvage his once-promising bid against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in a race long targeted by the GOP as crucial to regaining control of the Senate. But ominous signs were mounting against the six-term legislator from suburban St. Louis, most notably the apparent loss of millions of dollars in campaign advertising money.
Hours earlier, he posted a video online in which he apologized but made no mention of the race.
The decision has some urgency. Missouri election law allows candidates to withdraw 11 weeks before Election Day. That means the deadline to exit the Nov. 6 election is 5 p.m. Tuesday. Otherwise, a court order would be needed to remove a name from the ballot.
If Akin were to leave, state law gives the Republican state committee two weeks to name a replacement. The new candidate must file within 28 days of Akin's exit.
Associated Press writers Henry C. Jackson in Washington; Jim Suhr in St. Louis; and Chris Blank and David Lieb in Jefferson City, Mo., contributed to this report.