Rep. Todd Akin appeared on Today this morning to reiterate that he isn't leaving the Missouri Senate race and also to position himself as the anti-establishment "man of the people" candidate. You can watch the whole interview at NBCNews.com.
In an interview with Matt Lauer, Akin confirmed that Paul Ryan called him and advised him that it would be "for the good of the party" if he stepped aside. But Akin said that he was elected (in a primary) by the people of his state and not by "party bosses" and emphasized that he was outspent by his opponents while doing so. By mentioning the "voters of Missouri" several times, Akin clearly wants paint this as him respecting their wishes, and not bowing to the pressure of the Washington establishment. He also announced in a separate interview on Good Morning America, that he won't be going to the Republican convention, at the request of RNC chairman Reince Priebus.
As for his controversial rape comments, Akin went on to repeat that he only misspoke one word ("legitimate"), but then also said that he knows his medical facts were wrong and that he doesn't believe women lie about rape in order to get abortions. He also said once again that he apologized. "When you make a mistake, You put the politics aside and you do the right thing."
Akin appears to believe the polls that say he can still win, and will try to use this incident to rally his supporters. Perhaps he's right, in the sense that his only future in politics hinges on standing up to the Romney/Ryan ticket and the media by running as a fighter and a man of his word. At this point, even losing the race seems preferable to quitting. He ended the interview by saying, "This is not about me. This is not about my ego. But it is about the voters of the state Missouri," who chose him because he stands on "principles over politics."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.