Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Remarks Threaten to Engulf Romney’s Campaign [Video]

The questions of rape and abortion are threatening to engulf Mitt Romney’s preparations for the Republican party convention after the controversial right-wing Senate candidate Todd Akin refused to resign for his remarks on “legitimate rape”.

Todd Akin, Missouri congressman, who is also his party’s nominee for the US Senate, was rebuked my members of his own party including Mitt Romney after Akin claimed in a weekend television interview that it was extremely rare for women to get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”

According to The Telegraph, Romney said that Akin should resign, noting that senior colleagues in his state party had come to the same conclusion.

“Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race”.

However, Akin was defiant. His campaign posted a new web site on Tuesday seeking donations with a banner “I’m pro-life and I Stand with Todd Akin.”

Akin’s campaign also released an online ad, in which Congressman again apologized for his comments Sunday. “Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize,” Akin said in the Web video

The outrage over Akin’s remarks sent waves of anxiety through the Republican Party a week before it reaches out to independent voters, especially women, at its national convention where it will nominate Romney to run against Obama, writes Reuters.

In an interview with KTVI-TV on Sunday, Todd Akin, the GOP Senate nominee, was asked if he supported abortion in the case of rape.

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said. “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.”

“I misspoke one word in one sentence on one day,” Akin later said in a radio interview. “I haven’t done anything that was morally or ethically wrong, as sometimes people in politics do.”

Under Missouri election law, Akin had until 5 p.m. local time (6 p.m. EDT) to get his name off the ballot for the November 6 election most easily. But he faces a harder deadline on September 25, the last day his name can be removed with a court order.

If the Congressman withdraws, the Missouri Republican committee would name a successor to run against McCaskill. Among possible candidates are the two Republicans Akin defeated in the primary just two weeks ago – St. Louis businessman John Brunner and former state Senator Sarah Steelman.

Meanwhile, not everyone is calling for Akin to resign. Steve King, a Republican congressman for Iowa, described Mr Akin as “a strong Christian man” and said that public funding for abortions in cases of statutory rape or incest should be scrapped because he had never heard of victims of such crimes becoming pregnant. “I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance,” he said.

Tim Wildmon, president of the influential American Family Association, was one of several social conservatives who have come to Akin’s defense.

“This is a decent, honorable man who has been pro-life and pro-traditional values. He has apologized for his choice of words and that should be the end of it,” Wildmon said.

Romney’s vice presidential running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin called Akin and suggested he think about leaving the Senate contest.

“He thought I maybe should give some thought to stepping down, but he didn’t tell me what to do. And that’s because he’s a very respectful and a very decent guy,” Akin said on the Sean Hannity radio program.

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