WASHINGTON--Embattled Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP Missouri Senate candidate is digging in on Wednesday, making the rounds of the morning shows re-affirming he is not stepping down for his remark that a woman would not get pregnant if she is a victim of a "legitimate rape."
Akin on NBC's "Today Show" in a Matt Lauer interview on Paul Ryan calling him to quit the Senate race:
"Yes. Paul Ryan did give me a call. And he felt that I had to make a decision, but he advised me that it would be good for me to step down.
..... Well, I told him that I was going to be looking at this very seriously, trying to weigh all of the different points on this, and that I would make the decision, because it's not about me. It's about trying to do the right thing and standing on principle."
Akin on ABC's "Good Morning America" repeats his apology, said he was medically wrong and is asked how the notion of rape not causing pregnancy even got in his mind.
Akin said, "Well, first of all, let me say that "legitimate" -- the world "legitimate" doesn't ever have a good reason to be standing next to rape. There is no rape that is legitimate. And I understand that rape is a terrible and a tragic and a violent crime, and that's why I have apologized for using that word "legitimate" because it doesn't belong there. And I also know that I hurt people, and the first thing that I felt was right to do was to apologize. But I'm not apologizing for the fact that I'm pro-life and that I also believe that it's important to defend the helpless and the unborn.
Host Georgeg Stephanopoulos asked, "But then are you trying to say that if you just took out the word "legitimate" there and if it was just if it's a rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down? That then the sentence would be true?
Akin replied, "No. I was medically wrong. I understand that pregnancy can result from rape, and those are terrible circumstances, very difficult circumstances.
Akin is asked, "You know, you're a member of the House Science Committee. A lot of people are wondering how an idea like that could even get in your head?"
He replied, "Well, that's a -- the point of the matter is that, yes, pregnancy can happen as a result of rape. I understand that, and I have acknowledged that fact."