Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin appeared on Mike Huckabee’s radio show Tuesday to announce that he is staying in his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, despite calls by numerous Republican and conservative leaders for him to quit.
“We’re going to continue with this race for the U.S. Senate,” Akin said. “We’ve given it a lot of thought.”
Akin, who lost the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee earlier this week after making comments about the supposed ability of female bodies to avoid pregnancy after a “legitimate rape,” now faces an uphill battle against both McCaskill and the party that has all but disowned him. (POLL: Akin and McCaskill in dead heat)
When asked by Huckabee how he would survive despite the national GOP pulling support, Akin insisted he was enjoying a “tremendous outpouring of support” from grassroots conservatives. He also said his race would “strengthen the Republican Party.”
Akin later said that he had not done anything “morally and ethically wrong,” and said Republican calls for him to leave the race seemed to him “like a little bit of an overreaction.”
The NRSC immediately released a statement asking Akin to reconsider.
“[T]here should be no mistake – if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC,” said the campaign organization in a Tuesday afternoon statement.
“It should not be lost on anyone that some of the only voices not calling for Congressman Akin to do the right thing and step aside are Claire McCaskill and the leaders of the pro-abortion movement,” said the NRSC. “Senator McCaskill knows that the only way she wins re-election is if Todd Akin is her opponent in November.”