Republican Rep. Todd Akin allowed a state deadline to pass Tuesday, defiantly staying in the race to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill despite mounting calls for him to withdraw over incendiary remarks on rape and pregnancy.
Under Missouri law, Akin would now need to get a court order to pull out of the race as he waited beyond the 5 p.m. deadline. He would also be required to pay for any necessary reprinting of ballots.
But Akin said he has no plans to drop out. He cited what he called a grassroots conservative movement in the country that needs a voice in government for his decision to reject increasing pressure from his own Republican Party, congressional colleagues and others to step aside.
“I’m in this race for the long haul and we’re going to win it,” Akin told conservative radio host Dana Loesch.
He spoke minutes after five past and present Republican senators from Missouri, including highly regarded figures John Danforth and Christopher “Kit” Bond, added their voices to widespread calls for Akin to end his campaign.
“We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race,” said the statement by Sen. Roy Blunt and former senators Danforth, Bond, John Ashcroft and Jim Talent. “The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also advised Akin to end his campaign, saying: “His fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race.”
Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, echoed the call, according to a statement from his spokesman.
Other prominent Republicans to join the chorus urging Akin’s withdrawal included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and veteran Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.
Akin complained his detractors overreacted to a liberal media campaign to take him down. He said fellow Republicans “ran for cover at the first sound of gunfire.”
His decision means he faces the first statewide race of his career with no mainstream GOP backing. After he announced his intention to stay in the race, the National Republican Senatorial Committee made clear it would not provide any help.
“We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake — if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC,” said a statement by communications director Brian Walsh.
Posted by Ngo Okafor
The most downloaded black male model photo gallery and blog