Akin Faces Forgiveness, Fundraising Challenges After Rape Comment

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(KTVI) - With Congressman Todd Akin choosing to stay in the race for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat, he’s now faced with challenges in both forgiveness and fundraising.  The embattled congressman spent much of Tuesday in Ohio, where he shot a commercial asking for the former from voters. 

“Rape is an evil act.  I used the wrong words in the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize,” Akin said in the commercial, which, according to Politico.com, he has spent $40 thousand to run in Missouri, Tuesday. 

Akin went on to seemingly back off of a position he took that women’s bodies have the ability to “shut down” and not become pregnant in a case of “legitimate rape.”

“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 your forgiveness.”

 Experts question whether the apology will be enough.  Joe Cernik, a political science professor at Lindenwood University, says it may have little value with mainstream voters.

 “It’s sort of a nice statement after the fact, but again, you sort of sit there and the first thing that normal people are going to do is (wonder), ‘What was his mindset
that even should say that?’" 

Akin spent a portion of Tuesday making call in appearances on conservative radio programs.  He spoke nationally to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.  Locally, he surfaced on 97.1 FM’s Dana Loesch show. 

To Loesch, he reiterated that no amount of pressure from Republicans would chase him from the race.

“We are not getting out of this race. I’m in this race for the long haul and we are going to win it.” 

He reinforced his apology for the remarks, but also seemed to blame “The Jaco Report,” on FOX 2, where he made the original statements, for his troubles.

“It was really a dumb thing to do to go on that show. I feel I was really hit by a 4x4 and I don’t think I’m liable to make that mistake again,” he said. 

He also addressed his financial situation, with Republican Super-PAC Crossroads GPS announcing they would be among conservatives pulling their funding from Akin’s campaign.

“It seems we have lost some republican support here in terms of many millions of dollars,” he said.  “So if people can help us a bit.  We want to take our case to the people of Missouri.” 

How the people will react remains a mystery. 

Sherri Kreafle, a conservative, says she accepts the apology. 

“My views aren’t gonna change by one comment.  So it’s going to be more than one issue that determines my vote.”

Meanwhile,  Shannon White says she will forgive, but not forget.

 “Yes I can accept an apology from anybody because I’m a Christian, but that doesn’t make it right.”

The Associated Press reported that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said that Akin should leave the Senate race.

Despite the reports, Akin say he intends to stay in the race. Recent polls showed Akin would actually beat Democratic candidate Claire McCaskill if the election were held today.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a  statement Tuesday asking Akin to suspend his campaign. It said in part, "We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake – if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC.”

The President and CEO of Super-PAC American Crossroads,  Steven Law, released the following statement:

“Rep. Akin faces a simple choice:  Will he help Democrats hold the McCaskill seat and potentially the Senate majority by staying in the race, or will he help Republicans defeat Barack Obama's most reliable ally in the Senate by getting out?”

 But the Missouri Republican Assembly leadership pledged to continue its support for  Rep. Akin.

"Congressman Akin used the phrase "legitimate rape" in the sense of an actual, "forcible rape" as opposed to a claimed rape after consensual sex. He did not mean to imply that there is anything "legitimate" about some rapes compared to others or intend to be insensitive about the trauma that is experienced by women in a rape situation. We've all chosen a word with more than one meaning before and we censure those Republicans who refuse to call Bidden to task for his statements and yet throw one of our own under the bus by joining with Democrats in this misleading attack with ulterior motives.  We call on all Republicans to accept the Congressman's heartfelt and contrite apology offered by an honorable man."


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