August 20th, 2012
01:55 PM ET
6 years ago

Akin apologizes for rape comment

(CNN) - Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri said he was wrong and apologized Monday afternoon for claiming that "legitimate rape" rarely resulted in pregnancy.

"I made that statement in error. Let me be clear. Rape is never legitimate. It's an evil act, and it's committed by violent predators," the Republican congressman said on Mike Huckabee's radio show.

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Akin continued: "I used the wrong words in the wrong way. What I said was ill conceived and it was wrong. For that I apologize."

While answering a question Sunday about whether he thought abortion should be legal in the case of rape, Akin explained his opposition by citing unnamed medical mechanisms he said prevented pregnancy.

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said of rape-induced pregnancy in an interview with KTVI. A clip of the interview was posted online by the liberal super PAC American Bridge.

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin continued. The congressman, known for his socially conservative values, did not provide an explanation for what constituted "legitimate rape."

But echoing a statement he released Sunday night, Akin said Monday he misspoke and meant to say "forcible" rape, not "legitimate."

Further, he acknowledged that women "do become pregnant" for rape.

"I also know that people do become pregnant for rape and I didn't mean to imply that that wasn't the case. It does happen, and it's also terrible, particularly the most terrible of all," he said.

Many Republicans have quickly distanced themselves from the congressman, who's currently running as the GOP Senate nominee in a heated battle against incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

READ MORE: Dems seize upon Akin remarks as questions about Ryan's position surface

Mitt Romney harshly condemned the comments Monday, while Republican Sen. Scott Brown called for Akin to step down from his position as the nominee.

Asked Monday if he has plans to leave the Senate race, Akin said he's not a "quitter."

"I don't know that I'm the only person in public office who suffered from foot in mouth disease here," the congressman said. "On the other hand there are so many good people in Missouri who nominated me."

Akin said he's focused on the economy and feels "just as strongly as ever" that his background would be a "big asset" in replacing McCaskill.

"I'm not a quitter. My belief is we're going to take this thing forward, and by the grace of God we're going this race," he said.

"When you make a mistake what you need to do is tell people you're sorry. Don't try and hide it. Don't lie about it. Don't try to cover it up," he added. "But just because somebody makes a mistake doesn't make them useless."

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Health care • Missouri • Senate
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    ""First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare,""

    Really? 32,000 pregnancies resulting from rape every year in this country is "rare"? I guess he talked to some doctors of divinity instead of the ones doing research for the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynocologists.

    August 20, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Cassie

    Apology not accepted you don't say something like that unless you believe it somewhere inside of you.

    August 20, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    It's the typical talking point grenade: throw it out there, cause a stir, make sure everyone who "needs to know" does know that this is your position and then, when it causes a sh-tstorm, retarct it with many winks in their direction to assure them you're just retracting it because the mean old "lamestream media" is forcing you to comply with their "PC" agenda.

    August 20, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. rs

    Good luck with that. You have already demonstrated your unfitness for public office. To your credit however you have shone a bright light on the GOP record in the House- including Mr. Ryan's.

    August 20, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Citizen

    Please resign..... Legitimately!!!!!

    August 20, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Whatever. Just stay in the race,'re the funnest punching bag we've had in weeks.

    August 20, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Akin should have said he was wrong and apologize, but, he just keeps talking, making it worse.

    August 20, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |

    Apology NOT accepted!!! You said it, you meant it, deal with it!!!

    August 20, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Fritz

    Todd used the word 'legitimate' in the wrong context. He meant by 'legitimate' to mean 'real' rape as opposed to consensual s-x. But it's still funny to see one of these arrogant and exalted congressmen raise their left foot and try to stuff it into their mouths while the Dems pounce and the Repubs flee for cover! I'm still laughing over it!

    August 20, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. anchorite

    He DIDN'T apologize. He said that his use of the word "legitimate" was wrong, but he said that the morning after pill was still murder of an innocent child and that the only remedy should be further punishment of the rapist. That's not foot-in-mouth disease, it's something else up something else disease.

    August 20, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Haas

    Buh bye...

    August 20, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Mikey

    He didn't simply make a mistake, he revealed what he believes... and what he believes is disgusting.

    August 20, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Pete in Guilford

    "Akin said Monday he misspoke and meant to say "forcible" rape, not "legitimate." "

    Oh, as opposed to "consensual" rape? Why don't you just put your foot further in your mouth, you idiot. This is today's GOP.

    August 20, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. bccream

    Ask him which doctors told him this, I bet he wont be able to name a one. He just made it up, incredibly stupid.

    August 20, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |

    "I'm not a quitter. My belief is we're going to take this thing forward, and by the grace of God we're going this race,"
    You are not a Democrat, therefore do not use the term "FORWARD" in walking back your radical comments. Secondly, which "God" are you referring to? Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Buddha? You've got to be specific. By the grace of God, you'll lose terribly in November.

    August 20, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. smarty

    Mr Akin you are an idiot and should resign now!

    August 20, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Chris

    Imagine how successful the Republican Party would be if they would rid themselves of these religious zealots that have been allowed to railroad the party platform. Imagine all the "fiscally conservative, socially neutral" independents they would pick up. They might never lose another election. Such an opportunity for them in this election, but yet there is no doubt going to be a steady string of bigoted, sexist, homophobic, missteps between now and November to detract from the winning message of fiscal restraint. Who's job is it in the GOP to finally give the boot these people destroying the party?

    August 20, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. lindaluttrell

    He is PAST needing to GO! What an ignorant, egotistical, SEXist waste of human flesh! My wish for him is that he could experience his "legitimate" rape as a WOMAN. Then wait nine months to deliver the results of that "legitimate" rape! Then, and only then, would he even begin to understand rape from a WOMAN's point of view! Shame on you, what a disgrace you are! You need to do the only ethical, honest thing you have left to do: LEAVE OFFICE!

    August 20, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. 1nsite

    Why apologize? Did the puppet masters not want Akin to speak what he honestly believes? Paul Ryan has been on record as against abortion even in instances of rape. I guess this is because rape victims didn't let their magical womb protection kick in.

    August 20, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    The harm has already been done. There are lots of rape victims (I know first hand), who refuse to report the crime for fear of having their names and history dragged out in the mud and made to look like they invited the assualt on themselves and this Aching guy is one of the many reasons this feeling exist. Please "Aching" do us a favor and DROP OUT OF SIGHT FOREVER.

    August 20, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Common sense grandma

    Too late. He is only very sorry that it backfired.

    August 20, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Isn't it amazing what poll numbers will produce? An apology ( sort of) from one of the Religious Right's gauleiters. Thanks for the laughs, Fritz: you've demonstrated you are completely unfit for the office you are seeking.

    August 20, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Dave

    If he has to go, the majority of the GOP should go, too. All of these clowns have these idiotic and uneducated views. Akin just happened to articulate it...

    August 20, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think that he doesn't understand pregnancy at all. I am wondering what the women in his life are thinking. I don't know how many women would be voting for this guy now. It would interesting to see the list of doctors that have talk to him about rape, abortion and other female topics and wonder what they are doing.

    August 20, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. OJ

    The US. Home of the brave, free, and legitimate rape.

    August 20, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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