Todd Akin: "It's An Election, Not a Selection"
VIDEOS: The embattled congressman from Wildwood told media he's continuing his candidacy. In a well-attended media conference Friday afternoon, Todd Akin said voters should have the choice between the two candidates they were expecting.
U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Wildwood, faced the media today to declare loud and clear he's in the race to stay, five days after controversial remarks about "legitimate rape" threatened to derail his candidacy.
"Apparently there are some people who are having trouble understanding our message and I want to be clear on that today," Akin said. "We're going to be here through the November election and we're going to be here to win."
Akin alluded to Republican party "negotiations" that didn't include him.
"We need to be looking at our own hearts and not the politics. There's not enough attention to principles," said Akin at his Chesterfield campaign headquarters.
"It's an election, not a selection," he said, decrying efforts by "party bosses" to push him out.
Some local residents and voters agree, such as Lucy McMillion, a Ballwin resident who attended Friday's conference to stand beside Akin in his confirmation he will be staying the campaign course until November. See video that accompanies this article.
Akin said the America he represents is "an America that has more freedom and more jobs."
He made brief remarks and then took only five questions. The exchange concluded in a matter of minutes. It was the first news conference he has held after top Republicans pressured him to withdraw as a candidate.
Akin, who won the nomination for the U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill on Aug. 7, found himself on the outside of the Republican political establishment looking in after remarks on Sunday to Charles Jaco. Defending his position against abortion, even in cases of rape, Akin claimed that in cases of "legitimate rape," women have a built-in defense mechanism that can "shut down" pregnancy.
Those comments had Republicans from the very top of the GOP ticket — presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney — urging him to drop out of the race to make way for what they perceived to be a more viable opponent to McCaskill.
Missouri GOP elder statesman such as John Ashcroft and John Danforth joined the din of pressure against Akin, who steadfastly has declared "I'm not a quitter" at the same time he apologized for his remarks, saying he used "the wrong words in the wrong way."
Appealing to his base and to small-money contributors, he has solicited donations of $3 from supporters and declared yesterday that the strategy has so far succeeded, netting him more than $100,000 in donations in two days.