A defiant Rep. Todd Akin peppered the airwaves Tuesday, continuing to defend his decision to stay in the Missouri Senate race.
In an interview this morning with Matt Lauer on TODAY, the embattled Akin defended his position, saying "this was a decision made by the citizens of our state, not by party bosses." Rep. Akin again apologized for his "legitimate rape" remarks, saying "I think that anybody that was doing a lot of public speaking can make a mistake." He added "I don't apologize for the fact that I am strong in my belief of pro-life." When asked about the risk he poses to his party's chances at overtaking the Senate, Rep. Akin told Lauer, "This is not about me, this is not about ego, this is about the voters of Missouri."
Now that yesterday's withdrawal deadline has come and gone, replacing Rep. Akin in the contest against incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill will prove more challenging, requiring a court order. Rep. Akin is optimistic, though, citing polling that shows he is leading the race (albeit by one point). Whether he can maintain an edge without the backing of his party and its top fundraisers flies against most conventional wisdom - but it looks like we'll all have to stand back and watch, at least for a little while longer.
Eric Bates, Executive Editor, Rolling Stone
Maggie Haberman, Senior Political Reporter, POLITICO (@maggiepolitico)
Ari Melber, The Nation/msnbc Contributor (@arimelber)
Hugo Lindgren, Editor, The New York Times Magazine (@hugolindgren)
McKay Coppins, BuzzFeed (@mckaycoppins)
Bill Nye, Executive Director, “The Planetary Society” (@thescienceguy)