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. John

    He forgot to say "I am not a witch!"

    August 21, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. matreyia@yahoo.com

    It's not very sincere when anyone says, "I used the wrong words..."
    How about, "I was wrong." "I was insensitive." ?

    Oh wait, can't alienate their base...

    August 21, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  3. uniblob

    I wish just once one of these guys would man-up and declare "Yes, that's what I said and that's what I meant." Apparently, his outrageous statement was his belief at the time he said it, but a day later that's not his belief anymore? Really?

    August 21, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "We're so sorry, uncle Albert...."

    August 21, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "It's my Party and I'll cry if I want to. Cry if I want to. Cry if I want to. You would cry too if [this] happenned to you...."

    August 21, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I'm sorry, so sorry...."

    August 21, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. Miki801

    I am so sick of hearing politicos, ( and, indeed, sports figures). saying that they are "sorry". They truly are sorry. If they would just behave with a real moral compas, learn before they speak, and have the mental ability to edit their words. Know, too, that keeping your zipper sjhut is never having to say you're sorry.

    August 21, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  8. JDinHouston

    Forgiveness for what Akin said? In a word, no! In another word, resign!

    August 21, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  9. Malory Archer

    You said it, you meant it and you speak for the entire rethugliban party. You're only apologizing because your statements bring to the forefront the fact that mitten's running mate shares your ideology and they're terrrified that it'll cost them votes. Frankly I don't think it makes a dimes worth of difference because thinking Americans were already aware of that fact and had no intention of voting for team mittens. Therefore, apology NOT accepted.

    August 21, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  10. humanbean

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

    The words aren't the problem, idiot. It's the message. You meant what you said or you wouldn't have said it to begin with, regardless of the words that you used. Just apologize and move on. Your patronizing pandering isn't necessary.

    August 21, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    2 years back GOP dancing on this type comments why now

    Romney’s first victim is Todd Akin

    Todd Akin stay in the race

    August 21, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. Republicans - "The Not Intended to Be Factually Accurate" Party

    No, you made the mistake of revealing your own true convictions on the topics of women, abortion, pregnacy AND rape. You used the PRECISE words you intended to use. Others in your party have expressed the same type of backwards, Neanderthal thinking – they just didn`t say it in the light of day.

    The RYAN-romney "Throwback Team" believe the same things. The evidence: Paul Ryan`s legislative record & Mitt Romney`s pledge to Mike Huckabee that he`d sign a zygote "PERSONHOOD" ammendment.

    If the media doesn`t probe the GOP ticket further on the underlying substance behind this flap, they should lose their vaunted 1st Ammendment, freedom of the press privaledge.

    August 21, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  13. Babyboomer

    Saying he used the "Wrong words" in the "Wrong way" does nothing to change the fact that he believes Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. Sorry Akin, Ryan and Romney. This is not the 1950's...

    August 21, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  14. Heidi

    This man's ideas about rape victims right to choose are part of the public record. He is obviouly wrong in his ideas but he and Rya agree on this issue. I don't know why the republican party has declared war on women but every mother can recognize a insinere apology.

    August 21, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. Sandy

    Why doesn't he explain what word he meant to use? He meant to use forceable rape (a term used in the bill he and Paul Ryan sponsored) which is equally RIDICULOUS! These conservatives are crazy.

    August 21, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  16. James Stewart, III

    Some things you say, at some levels, you simply cannot apologize for. Go away.

    August 21, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  17. jaintn

    The only thing he's sorry about is that people didn't agree with his neanderthal way of looking at things.

    August 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  18. Potion4

    Honestly I think that what he said wasent right and the fact that he's asking for forgivness we should move on.

    August 21, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  19. John

    After what Todd Akin said he doesn't deserve to be In the Senate, and I hope the People In Missouri will be smart enough not to Vote for this Idiot If he stay In the race.

    August 21, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  20. sgurdog

    You'll be forgiven as a human being but I hope the voters kick you to the curb because stupidity is dangerous in your position.

    August 21, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  21. Sanbee

    I think forgiveness is possible, but I still wouldn't want a person with such poor judgement to represent me and make big decisions for me.

    August 21, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  22. Enrique

    Todd Akin was merely speaking his mind. Why does he feel the need to apologize? I really hope that this clown stays in the race.

    August 21, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  23. Abadone

    he truly mean what he said....it's what's in his heart

    August 21, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  24. Guest

    The problem is not in the words he used. The problem is in the thoughts behind those words. He made it very clear what he was thinking. No matter what words he expressed those thoughts in, the meaning was apparent. He is trying to pretend how that he wasn't "politically correct" enough in how he expressed his beliefs, but he's missing the point: it's the beliefs themselves that are repugnant, not the words that communicated them.

    August 21, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  25. ST

    Let us wait and see those who always pretend they believe in forgiveness, whether they will forgive this man!

    August 21, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
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