8:28am PT by Jordan Zakarin
Piers Morgan Features Empty Chair After Rep. Todd Akin Backs Out of Interview (Video)
Todd Akin may have been better off just doing the interview with Piers Morgan.
The Missouri Congressman and senate candidate has been under fire since Sunday, when he told a local news channel that he believes the female body has natural protections that prevent pregnancy as a result of "legitimate rape." After denouncements from both sides of the political aisle, Akin began a limited media tour, and Morgan and his staff had been touting a television exclusive interview Monday evening.
At the last moment, Akin pulled out, leading Morgan to show a blank chair -- much like Lawrence O'Donnell did earlier this year when George Zimmerman's lawyer pulled out of an interview -- and berate the Republican.
"We booked Congressman Akin to tell his story himself. We kept our word," Morgan said. "I'm here. But Rex Elsass, who's the political consultant to Congressman Todd Akin did not keep his," Piers said. "He pulled the interview, having agreed it on his behalf, at the last possible moment, leaving us and you looking at an empty chair."
He continued, "Congressman, you have an open invitation to join me in that chair whenever you feel up to it. Because if you don't keep your promise to appear on the show, then you are what we would call in Britain, 'A gutless little twerp.'"
Earlier in the day, Akin appeared on several conservative radio shows. He apologized for the controversial comments while speaking with Mike Huckabee, who was a bit more sympathetic than Sean Hannity, who told Akin he should exit the race for the sake of the Republicans' chance at taking back the Senate.
There is a 5 pm Tuesday deadline for Akin to pull out of the race; after that, it will take a court order to take him off the Missouri ballot. He has thus far sworn to stay in the race, and has cut a new ad in which he apologizes for his comments.