Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) wants your forgiveness.
Specifically, he wants Missouri voters to forgive him for saying female bodies can somehow block a pregnancy from a “legitimate rape.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate candidate made his plea for forgiveness in a 30-second ad that was given to Politico
. In the video, Akin uses clear and direct language in his appeal to voters:
“Rape is an evil act,” he begins. “I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize.”
The father of two daughters concludes the ad by saying: “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.”
According to Politico, the spot was produced by the Republican media-consulting firm Strategy Group for Media
, which counts Akin as a client
Akin made his controversial—and flat-out incorrect
—statements during an interview on a St. Louis TV station Sunday. He said:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Shortly after he made the remarks, Akin’s opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, fired off a tweet indicating she was “stunned,” and the swift and fierce backlash commenced. In the eye of the firestorm, Akin on Sunday released his first mea culpa, indicating he “misspoke” but stopping short of an apology.
Nearly all commenters to a PR Daily story about Akin
said public relations efforts couldn’t save the congressman’s sinking campaign for Senate against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill. (Some took us to task for referring to those efforts as “PR magic.”)
At least one poll conducted Monday by left-leaning Public Policy Voting on found that McCaskill had a one percentage point lead over Akin
The Republican establishment has called for Akin to leave the race and the party has even pulled its financial support. GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan reportedly called Akin
—a lawmaker with whom Ryan co-sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives last year to redefine rape
—urging him to quit the race.
However, Akin said in a Facebook post
: “I'm announcing today that we're going to stay in!”
Akin has until 5 p.m. today to renounce his candidacy, after which time he would need a court order to call it quits.
The Daily Beast reports
that Democrats hope he stays in the race.