Akin Asks for "Forgiveness" With Deadline Looming

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 21 2012 7:53 AM

Todd Akin Asks for "Forgiveness" With Drop-Out Deadline Looming

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Rep. Darrell Issa , right, talks to Rep. Todd Akin outside the Republican National Committee headquarters after a House Republican Conference meeting in March 2011

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

The Todd Akin Watch continues Tuesday, as the Missouri Senate candidate has until 5 p.m. local time to bow to mounting GOP establishment pressure to end his campaign, or risk creating a set of bureaucratic hurdles for his party should he later call it quits.

The Show-Me State has what the Washington Post calls "one of the clearest, strictest laws in the nation regarding replacing candidates." In short, Akin has until the end of the workday to decide to step aside and let Republican leaders name his replacement. If he misses the deadline, he would still have until Sept. 25 to petition the court to be removed from the ballot, but doing so could be challenged by the Missouri secretary of state, Robin Carnahan, who is a Democrat. After Sept. 25, his name is more or less set in stone on the ballot, remaining there even in the event of his death.

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Despite losing the financial support of the major players in national Republican politics—including the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS—Akin has given every signal that he remains determined to weather the storm. He told Mike Huckabee Monday that he's "not a quitter," and this morning unveiled a new advertisement dubbed "Forgiveness," which I've embedded below.

The 30-second spot opens with Akin speaking directly to the camera: "Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize," he said, later adding, "The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. ... The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.