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Todd Akin Says He'd Take Back Rape Comments

11:45 AM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
Todd Akin
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Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

Republican Todd Akin said he regrets his comments about "legitimate rape," nearly six months after the controversial remarks derailed his bid for the U.S. Senate in Missouri.

When asked by KDSK-TV if he would take back his much-derided comments, the former congressman said, "Oh, of course I would. I've relived them too many times. But that is not reality."

The story of Akin's downfall is well known: The conservative lawmaker said in a TV interview last summer that he believes pregnancy can be prevented by a woman involved in a "legitimate rape" because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Major players in the GOP distanced themselves from Akin, who was in a winnable race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, and cut off funding for his campaign. He apologized, but McCaskill capitalized on the comment and she won a second term by more than 15 percentage points.

Akin and Indiana's Richard Mourdock, who made controversial comments about abortion, are now frequently held up by Republicans as embarrassments who cost the party the Senate majority last year. After all that, observers might think Akin would be ready to give up on politics.

"Oh no, I don't rule anything out," he said in the TV interview, adding that another campaign would depend on circumstances. "I consider it a bright new future and I'm interested to see what the possibilities are."

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