Todd Akin Takes Back Apology for Rape Comment: 'I Misspoke Some Words'

By Albert Lin

Former Congressman Todd Akin has resurfaced to promote his new book—and he still can’t stop talking about rape.

Akin, a Missouri Republican, famously sabotaged his own U.S. Senate campaign in 2012 when he was asked if he believed abortion was acceptable in the case of a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape,” he said, “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down [so a pregnancy does not result].” He lost his Senate bid by 15 points and retreated from the public eye.

But with a new book, Firing Back, to push, Akin appeared on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown on Thursday, and the topic was still on his mind.

“‘Legitimate rape’ is a law-enforcement term, and it’s an abbreviation for ‘legitimate case of rape,'” Akin said. “Do you know anybody who thinks rape is legitimate That doesn’t even make sense. I know no conservatives who think rape is legitimate.”

Akin had apologized after the original 2012 incident, but in the book he backs off the apology and says that others twisted the intent of his comments to discredit him. “I misspoke some words,” he explained on the air. “It was intentionally taken out of context. It’s made into this great big deal so that I’m sort of a villain of the whole world.”

And in what appeared to be a misguided attempt to show compassion for rape victims, Akin said, “I had a number of people on my campaign that were children that had grown up that had been conceived in rape. They were helping me on the campaign.”

Pressed by host Chuck Todd on whether he believes there is any instance in which abortion should be legal, Akin brought up ectopic pregnancies, in which the fetus is not viable and its continued development puts the mother in danger. “Your objective is not to kill the child, your objective is to save the mother’s life,” he said. “If you call that an exception, then that would be an exception.”

Watch all of Akin’s interview below:

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