Akin asks for 'forgiveness' in new TV ad
August 21st, 2012
07:12 AM ET
10 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. Patrick Lewis

    Good Lord. Please... Please someone tell me that this will not work. How many times do we get one of these guys giving the "forgive me, it's the christian thing to do" speech and watch them not only come back but get a bounce? This guy did not misspeak, he said EXACTLY what he intended to say.

    August 21, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. MightyMoo

    I'd forgive him but I wouldn't forget what he said. He doesn't deserve to be in office after remarks like that.

    August 21, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. Suzanne

    When pigs fly! Not chance - no way, no how! He said what he meant the first time and is back-pedaling now - only for his own fat chance of election. What a fool!

    August 21, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Richard

    Congressman, you do not need forgiveness. You need an education. An apology does not make you any smarter.

    August 21, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. Mac

    Stay the course Akin!! We just need you to hold on until 5 PM.


    Liberal America

    August 21, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. wm Scot

    This man did not make a mistake in saying what he believed in because he and alot of these folks really beleive in what he said. They are taught these beliefs in their churches and the are taught these beliefs in their homes.They should not become leaders of our country for these beliefs !

    August 21, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  7. Han

    Yes! Don't quit and give the opponent a free win! The Democrats must love his intent to stay in the race.

    August 21, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. PVS

    lol then what were the "right" words? what was the intended statement? they never answer that, do they?

    August 21, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  9. rainierclimber

    so.....what would have been the c
    orrect words ?

    August 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  10. lostisland

    Apology NOT accepted. I'm actually quite glad you spoke your mind. You're serving as another fine example of republican stupidity.

    August 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. a in austin

    He used the wrong words BUT that's what he and the gobp believe – look around and see what the states have been passing!

    August 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. rainierclimber

    so...what would have been the correct words ?

    August 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  13. ron

    It's hard not to be able to just forgive and forget but there are times when it just can't be done. This is one of those times.
    What he said was about the stupidest thing I have ever heard anyone proclaim. He needs to go quitely into the night.

    August 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. Core republican Values

    He isn't going to resign! This is great news.

    It will be delightful to watch this disgusting misogynist dinosaur representing republican party values for all of us to enjoy for the next three months!

    You can't buy this kind of cheap, self-serving horror show, telling the truth, 24/7, in Missouri and all across America, about what republicans really stand for.

    Go for it Mr. Akin. "You can win this thing!"

    August 21, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  15. Strategic Bob

    Sorry, Todd, your kind of willful ignorance and disregard for truth, facts and science are unforgivable. But please, stay in the race to help your opponent win. Helping the Democrats retain the majority in the Senate is the least you can do to make amends, and would be the most patriotic thing you will have ever done.

    August 21, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  16. AGeek

    You didn't use the wrong words in the wrong way, you clearly stated that you have no problems opening your mouth and spewing Bravo Sierra that flies in the face of all known science. You know, that House Committee you're on? Science? Kick everyone in the jimmies and then apologize, saying you meant to shake our hands. Eff you, Akin.

    August 21, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. Bob

    No, it's your parents we MAYBE should forgive.

    August 21, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. Jim

    It does not seem as though he mispoke in the sense that the words he spoke are different from his beliefs. I think he said what he believes and that is bothersome for me.

    August 21, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. I Like to tiE My doG To the rooF Of tHE famILY Car for FUN

    You sir and your GOP colleagues need to learn "basic self awareness" to stop being so ignorant of others and yourself... now your party will kick you to the curb and continue on operating as the simpletons they are.

    August 21, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. reithena

    No. How can he possibly think women will forgive him for this?

    August 21, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. tammyk tammy

    Akin should run for office in Pakistan where he can perform 'honor killings' on any woman who is not legitimately raped. Tea Party Taliban, he's you man.

    August 21, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  22. Anonymous

    He needs to go. He's in too deep. He'll only be playing catch-up now, and he needs to step aside and let somebody else hit the ground running here.

    August 21, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  23. I Like to tiE My doG To the rooF Of tHE famILY Car for FUN

    Its time to kick the elitists out of power and position while we re-educated the mass of ignorant people in the ways of sharing equally .... capitalism is a great divider and its has done its job to prove it doesn't work.

    August 21, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
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