McCaskill reacts to Akin's comments

Published: Aug. 21, 2012 at 2:34 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM CDT
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PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said she thinks Congressman Akin should stay in the race despite his comments Sunday.

"Elections are sacred, there was an election, so I think the voters of Missouri should be respected not have some big wig fancy people from Washington come in here and threaten him that he's got to drop out," said McCaskill.

She said ultimately Missouri voters are the ones who decide who they want to represent them.

"I think that Todd Akin and I have differences, and I think Missourians can look at the two candidates and decide who they want to represent them in the Senate, but I think it would be a radical thing to try to force someone who had won an election honestly off the ballot just because you think you want to pick another candidate, I think that's wrong," said McCaskill.

McCaskill said she's worked with rape victims in the past, and knew what Akin said was insensitive.

"I certainly knew what Congressman Akin said was wrong, and offensive, and inappropriate," said McCaskill.

She said the topic of the morning after pill and abortion, will be interesting topics for candidates to talk about before voters cast their ballots.

"These are hard issues, I certainly pray about this issue, I don't think any of us are comfortable about being absolute, about what is absolutely right or wrong," said McCaskill. "My experience in working with hundreds of rape victims, and holding their hands and crying with them, is that the morning after pill is such a sense of security for them that there will be no pregnancy as a result of what is the most horrific and traumatic experience that they will ever have in their life. I want to hold on to their ability to take the morning after pill, so I do think that it's worth the conversation and the debate on that issue."

McCaskill said she wants to respect Missouri voters who elected Akin into the nominee position.

"He has now apologized and said it was a mistake," said McCaskill. "I thought what he said showed an insensitivity, but I also want to be fair to Congressman Akin in that he has now apologized and said it was a mistake."

Congressman Todd Akin said he's staying in the race. He tweeted Monday afternoon, "I am in this race to win. We need a conservative Senate. Help me defeat Claire by donating." You can see Akin's Twitter account here.

Akin issued an apology statement:

"This weekend I made a mistake. I used the wrong words in the wrong way. What I said was ill-conceived and it was wrong and for that I apologize. I'm a dad of two daughters and I want tough justice for sexual predators and I've always had a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault.

The people from Missouri that elected me know I'm not perfect. We all make mistakes. When you make a mistake what you need to do is tell people you're sorry. Don't try and hide it. That's why I have repeatedly said that I am very sorry for my comments.

Just because somebody makes a mistake doesn't make them useless. We need a conservative in the United States Senate, and I am running to replace Claire McCaskill and get our country back on track."

Now, some Republicans are distancing themselves from Akin's comments.

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's campaign said Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan disagree with Akin's comments. A spokeswoman said a Romney administration would not oppose abortion in cases of rape.

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