Akin asks for 'forgiveness' in new TV ad
August 21st, 2012
07:12 AM ET
6 years ago

Akin asks for 'forgiveness' in new TV ad

(CNN) - The Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, under fire for his controversial comments about rape, has recorded a television commercial in which he asks for "forgiveness."

In the ad, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin also says "I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize" in explaining his comments in a TV interview Sunday that a woman's body is capable of preventing pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

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The Akin campaign tells CNN the spot should start running statewide in Missouri beginning Tuesday.

Akin has come under incredible pressure over the past 24 hours from top Republican leaders to give up his bid for the Senate, or to spend time considering what's best for himself, his family, his party, and the country, which is political code for urging the six term congressman to quit the race.

That pressure has come from such leaders as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as well as presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

But Akin, in two radio interviews Monday, declared that he's staying in the race. He was scheduled to appear Monday night on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," but canceled at the last minute, sparking a flurry of comments on Twitter.

In the ad, which was first reported by Politico, Akin looks directly into the camera, saying: "Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault and I pray for them. The fact is rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness."

Missouri election rules allow a candidate to withdraw with little difficulty through Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, which is 11 weeks prior to the November 6 election.

After Tuesday, the candidate must get a court order and pay for any necessary reprinting of ballots. The state Republican Party would choose another candidate to run against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, considered one of the most vulnerable senators in the country.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee headed by Cornyn has advised Akin that it will not support his campaign if he stays in the race, a source from the group told CNN.

The race is Missouri is crucial to GOP hopes of winning back the Senate, and national Republicans are targeting McCaskill, who faces a difficult re-election to a second term. The Democrats currently have a 53-47 majority in the chamber, but are defending 23 (21 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party) of the 33 seats up for grabs in November.

CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this story

Filed under: Abortion • Missouri
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Mitt Romney publicly: "I cannot defend Akin." Mitt Romney privately: hey Todd, just keep the campaign donations coming and by the way buddy, thanks for stating Paul's and my position on the rape issue. Screw women. Romney/Ryan 2012...NOT!

    August 21, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  2. nothing new here

    Ah yes, using the old "forgive me for I have sinned" routine.
    Mr. Akin, I am not interested in words, esp. yours.
    Your calls for forgiveness mean nothing, unless you put some action behind those words.
    Either start adopting kids, or better yet, take the responsibility of rehabilitating those that have been victimized.
    This is all I am going to say on this matter.

    August 21, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  3. Adolf

    Give him a chance. He was right. Most people just don't understand biology.

    August 21, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. Dave - Phx

    Too late, you stated your beliefs and you are a whack job. You can't take that back or be forgiven. You are what you are, a monster who hates women.

    August 21, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  5. ron

    What he needs to do is leave politics and get rid of that horrible comb over.

    August 21, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    buh bye. Can't say is wasn't a pleasure...'cause it wasn't

    August 21, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. Norman

    We forgive you. Now leave...

    August 21, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  8. bassman

    Compare how Republicans deal with gaffes made by their own and how Democrats stand behind behind VP Biden racists statements. This is not the first time Mr. Biden has made these kinds of statement. Remember his statements that Pres. Obama is "articulate and bright and clean"),
    The networks covered up Pres. Obama having to apoligize for his "Polish Death Camps" gaffe.

    August 21, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  9. CarmenSo

    Since legitimate rape doesn't result in pregnancy a pregnant woman who claims they were raped couldn't possibly have been raped and the proof is that she is pregnant. If her body accepted the man's seed she therefore consented to the act. So sayth the Christian Taliban!

    August 21, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  10. ArthurP

    "I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize"


    Right so please point out how this can be said using the right words:

    "the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."

    August 21, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. Jerubbaal

    I wholly and totally disagree with his views on abortion, but I believe that his apology is sincere. I can respect that his religious convictions influence his thinking and drive him. I just wish that he demonstrates the compassion that he seeks he shows to those who are of a different mind set.

    August 21, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  12. Common sense grandma

    So tired of politicians using the same excuse. They apologize for using the wrong word, but that does not excuse the fact that they are still expressing how they truly feel about a topic. If a man gives the woman a drug and she passes out? Not rape. If a family member or trusted adult coerces a young girl? Not rape. Please consider the impact men like this have as they are empowered to make decisions concerning all women and children, including young boys that are raped.

    August 21, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  13. susie77y

    I do hope he stays in. He will lose to McCaskill, and he will drag down the entire Republican ticket. A win for America.

    August 21, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  14. Adevilson

    Wait until election day to learn if the people of your state forgive you...

    August 21, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  15. jim

    Back peddle...

    August 21, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  16. KJV

    who hasn't said stupid things that they regret?

    August 21, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  17. Lisa

    A song comes to mind: It's too late to apologize.. it's too late.

    It's more than that. His apology is not just too late, it's shallow. There were no incorrect words – a mindset was clear. Its a belief that women are unlikely to get pregnant during rape because their body shuts down or whatever words you want to use. Hard to take back a belief unless you say, "Look I did actually believe that truly stupid concept but sometimes when people are blown away by criticism they take a hard look at their beliefs against a sea of facts...."

    For him to keep acting like it was mere words that did not correctly express his beliefs makes his apology worthless.

    August 21, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  18. Rupert

    I hope he stays in the race. He'll do the Republican Party proud. (Hey, Claire, you go girl!)

    August 21, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  19. John

    He's a moron. What does that say about the people who voted him in?

    August 21, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  20. Lisa

    What is important for voters to know is that Paul Ryan sponsored a bill with this guy. Look it up. Abortion related and it attempts to differentiate between kinds of rape – forcible and other. Apparently they feel differently about victims of incest and see forcible rape as the only "true rape".

    August 21, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  21. Vincent

    Translation ....... he wants forgiveness for revealing his true thoughts.

    Voters need to be more careful about the kind of representatives sent to government that will change laws to suit their own agenda. Most will not tell us what they really think while campaigning, but it comes out in their record.

    August 21, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  22. Daremonai


    The people who support him don't care about the comment and are already busy painting this as a liberal witch hunt, and people who don't support him view it as just one more in a long line of reprehensible statements.

    August 21, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  23. jj

    He's probably not the only midwest lawmaker who feels this way. He was just stupid enough to say it out loud.

    August 21, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  24. Vincent

    The US is so far behind in science and math nowadays. At one time it was leading the charge. Politicians have ruined the nation with their agenda and neanderthal thinking.
    Keep religion out of politics!

    As important as the economy is for the nation, education is also a key factor for the future!

    August 21, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  25. MollyBee

    People may grant him "forgiveness" but, clearly, the man has articulate the way he feels about rape. In his mind, the woman victim is the most responsible for resulting pregnancies.

    August 21, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
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