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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Akin Defies Calls to Step Down in TV Interviews


Representative Todd Akin continued to defy Republican party leaders Wednesday morning, reiterating his intentions to stay in the race against Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri during appearances on morning news shows.

In an appearance on NBC's “Today” show Mr. Akin said that he had received a call from Paul Ryan, the presumptive vice-presidential candidate, asking him to bow out of the race. “He advised me that it would be good for me to step down,” Mr. Akin said. “I told him that I was going to be looking at this very seriously, trying to weigh all the different points on this.”

Mr. Akin also took his message to ABC's “Good Morning America” saying he would not be bullied from the race. “It makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who runs as opposed to the election process,” he said.

Mr. Akin touched off a firestorm of criticism after he said in a television interview on Sunday that in instances of what he called “legitimate rape,” women's bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy. Since then, Republican leaders, including Mitt Romney, have called on Mr. Akin to step down.

“Todd Akin's comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country,” Mr. Romney said in a statement Tuesday. “Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.”