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Todd Akin kept his TV appointment this time.
The Missouri congressman, under fire since Sunday for claiming on a local news broadcast that the female body has ways of avoiding pregnancy as a result of “legitimate rape,” appeared Wednesday on Good Morning America, following his last-minute cancellation of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight on Monday. Fighting for his political life, Akin has issued an apology for his comments but also has defended himself against what he calls the “liberal elite.” When GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked him about his apology, he maintained his contrite-but-defiant tone.
“First of all, let me say, that legitimate, the word legitimate, doesn’t ever have a good reason standing next to rape,” Akin said. “There’s no rape that is legitimate. And I understand that rape is a terrible and a tragic and a violent crime. And that’s why I have apologized for using that word ‘legitimate’ because it doesn’t belong there. And I also know that I hurt people. And the first thing that I felt was right to do was to apologize. But I’m not apologizing for the fact that I’m pro-life and that I also believe it’s important to defend the unborn.”
Akin thus far has refused to leave the Senate race in which he is pitted against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, even as he’s abandoned by fellow Republicans, from conservative hosts including Sean Hannity, party operatives like RNC chair Reince Priebus and all the way up to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
Nonetheless, he forges on, working to raise money online and claiming that national “bosses” shouldn’t determine the will of Missouri voters. He left room for a potential pullout, but not all that much.
“Well, George, I’m never going to say everything that could possibly happen,” he said. “I don’t know the future, but I do know this: I know that the party voters took a look at our hearts, understood who we were, had a chance to meet us in many, many different ways and made a decision. And it makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who runs as opposed to the election process.”
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