CLEARWATER, FL -- The former U.S. House speaker from Illinois criticized his former colleague, Rep. Todd Akin, for his comments about "legitimate rape" and predicted Missouri voters "will probably solve this issue before election time."
"I think it's unacceptable the things Todd said," said former U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). "I don't know if he just made a mistake or wasn't thinking when he talked.
"But you know, that's an important place to be: In the U.S. Senate, you've got to be thinking all of the time," Hastert told reporters after addressing Illinois' delegation at the Republican National Convention.
Akin is running for the Senate against incumbent U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and ignited a political fury with his comments that women somehow have a physiological ability to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."
Akin has apologized for the misstatement but ignored calls from within his party to step down and permit Missouri Republicans the chance to name someone else to run against McCaskill.
The campaign is one of the most closely watched Senate races as Republicans try to take control of the legislative chamber from Democrats.
"I think the people of Missouri will probably solve this issue before election time," Hastert said.