(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 to...win 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.
He'll still win. Obama Clair McCaskill is toast no matter what.
His comment started as a thought, and that thought turned into a belief and the belief could not be contained. He said it, he owes it and he should leave his office. Period.
I thought he mis-spoke before? Now he was just flat out wrong eh? Apology not accepted. He put a nice spotlight on what is wrong with the regressive thinking that defines the GOTP today, including boy blunder Eddie Munster. He made the case for why education must be protected at all costs when he tried to give an explanation about the science of women's bodies that can easily be proven false. He is a neanderthal that is so unfit for public office it would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous. Achin' will be another anchor and data point on why the GOTP is swiftly heading for extinction.
Until he straight out says that he knows for a fact that women don't have special ways of preventing pregnancy during rape he shouldn't bother apologizing, because he is clearly only sorry that he said this out loud.
"But just because somebody makes a mistake doesn't make them useless." Tell that to Rove...I can only hope that with Akin's hopes so goes the republican parties in Missouri. These far right wing nuts can not take over a clear minded issue driven state. Time to Suggest to ALL Missourians what the republicans really would mean for Missouri...50 years of progress gone in one election...like in Kansas and they want to draw back what they have started.
This man is profoundly lacking in understanding of basic biology. This is a person who wants to be crafting laws that effect our families? NO WAY!!!
I live in Missouri and can assure you that his views represent a majority of the people in this state (not mine). Look at his other extremist positions. The man is a first rate kook and will be in the Senate next year.
Isn't there a mechanism that shuts things down when it's a legitimate foot in mouth?
Today, Atkins says healthcare is not necessary because God will automatically cure your body of all diseases if you are faithful. Heck, if it works in the Bible, it must work in real life.
Akin is an icon of the Republican mentality on the path of their endless subjugation of Women generally, it goes along with most Evangelics belief in Women’s true Place in life, one step behind men.
He needs to step down. He has really made Missouri look bad! I feel his words are strong enough to show how he really feels. Time to leave Todd!!
I wonder if this guy would think the same way if his daughter or anyone he knew had been raped and impregnanted
The stupidity of people who live in a bubble is beyond comprenhension. And he is supposed to represent a percentage of Americans in the congress? Please...
Yep... He really did stick his foot in his mouth... And should resign from office... BUT I guess that means Biden should also resign (I.e. chains). Probably need to review every politician for that matter... I wonder who would be left??? Just sayin...
Too late now loser. Donations are pouring in for Sen. McCaskill as a result of your disgusting remarks. This guy is the lowest form of GOP slime and hopefully the people of Missouri will see his true colors. If not, he will be your senator and you will have six years to heap praise on him.
Very dumb comment...he was right to apologize.
Somewhere in the back of his tiny mind, he believes it to be true. He was thinking it, and thought out loud. Sorry buddy. I don't accept your apology.
Whatever the stuff is that keeps that gawdawful combover glued to his head has affected his brain.
He thought he was speaking in private? He believed what he said. He is a religious "man" who also believes the earth is 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs walked with man. Science? Who need science when you can have religious faith? His type jailed all of the free thinkers and scientists of the past for not adhering to biblical "teachings". Taliban? Just another version! All American!
He really shouldn't use the phrase "ill conceived."
The apology does no good when you know in his heart of hearts, that is how this man thinks. He has no business being on the Tax Payers' payroll or holding any type of elected position. He probably has a sheet and a hood in his closet at home. This type of person is what is holding America back. Even though I firmly support President Obama, Romney did the right thing in distancing himself from this loon. But, he should have gone futher and "repudiated" him.
I would like to know how male rape victims feel about Akin's statements.
Don't apologize Akin.
Stand by your statement.
And please, whatever you do, DON'T DROP OUT OF THE RACE.
We would like you front and center showing the entire U.S. of A what a pool of drool the Republican Party has been reduced to.
Whatever the stuff is that keeps that gawdawful combover glued to his head has affected his brain
I thought it was just me! But gosh darn it if it doesn't look like a weave!
OMG, this clown is probably the biggest babbling idiot I've ever seen nominated for a high office. If he is elected, then look out Missouri and the U.S. Senate. He might wanna take his "comb over" and head for the hills and hope to god he doesn't hear dueling banjo's nearby. He'll learn the theory on "Squeel Like A Pig" REAL FAST!!!!! (Suppose he'll think it's legitimate?) I doubt it. But he sure will walk different.
...And while you have 1,000 microphones in front of you, can you please explain to those of us that missed it what is the name of the do-hickey that tells a woman NOT to get pregnant because she's just been "legitimately raped"?