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Akin leaves exit door slightly open

Aug. 22, 2012 at 4:52 PM   |   Comments

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ST. LOUIS, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Embattled Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., left open the possibility he may exit his state's U.S. Senate race but maintained he still can win.

"I'm never going to say everything that could possibly happen," Akin told ABC News Wednesday. "I don't know the future, but I do know this: I know that the party voters took a look at our hearts, understood who we were, had a chance to meet us in many, many different ways and made a decision."

He said he was "uncomfortable" with the possibility of "party bosses" influencing who runs "as opposed to the election process."

Meanwhile, Akin's opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is using online ads linked to Twitter searches for hashtag #legitimaterape or Todd Akin, Politico reported.

"Don't let Todd Akin get elected. He thinks 'women can't get pregnant from #legitimaterape,'" McCaskill tweets, with a pitch for donations and a link to her Web Site. This follows Google search ads doing the same thing.

Akin has come under heavy criticism from not only women and Democrats but his own party for comments Sunday when asked if abortion should be legal in cases of rape.

"From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said during the interview with a St. Louis television station. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Since Sunday, Akin recorded a television ad acknowledging he used "the wrong words in the wrong way" concerning rape and pregnancy, but remained defiant about remaining in the race.

Republicans, including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, have lined up to ask Akin to drop out.

Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, asked Akin not to attend next week's party convention in Tampa, Fla.

Akin told ABC News he would honor Priebus' wishes but insisted he could still win his challenge to McCaskill and would remain in the race.

"We've given this a lot of thought. The fact is that over more than a year period of time, a number of us ran in this Republican primary. Each of us had our messages. I was outspent by a large amount in terms of media," he said. "And yet by standing on principle and putting politics aside and talking about the foundations of this country, the people of Missouri chose me to be their candidate."

The Republican Party's platform committee adopted a plank that calls for a constitutional amendment protecting "human life" but does not say if exceptions should be allowed in cases of rape and incest.

The plank, adopted Tuesday by the 112-member committee meeting in Tampa, Fla., says an "unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed."

The platform calls for legislation recognizing the rights of unborn children under the Constitution's 14th Amendment.

The Democratic National Committee quickly accused the GOP of adding an "Akin plank" to the platform.

Romney -- who says abortion should be illegal except in rape and incest cases -- said it was not unusual for the nominee to disagree with some parts of the party platform.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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