The Missouri Senate race kicked off in earnest Tuesday when Republican candidate Todd Akin affirmed for the last time that he will not drop his Senate bid at a press conference in St. Louis.
Establishment Republicans have urged Akin to leave the race after an interview in which he said that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely become pregnant. But on Tuesday, the last day Akin could legally withdraw his name from the Missouri ballot, he reaffirmed that he is in it to win it.
“A lot of people in politics specialize in asking this question: ‘Can we win?’” Akin said, flanked by supporters. “But there’s another question that’s more fundamental and that is: ‘What’s the right thing to do?’ There’s an amazing correlation. When you do the right thing, you end up winning anyway.”
Akin’s determination to stay in the race was not a surprise after rebuffing members of his own party — including Mitt Romney and the National Republican Senatorial Committee — with his decision to stay in the race.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill posted a hard-hitting TV ad featuring Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments to her campaign website Tuesday. The McCaskill campaign confirmed to TPM that the ad began airing statewide Monday night. Immediately following Akin’s press conference, liberal super PAC American Bridge released a video and memo documenting the “top ten crazy Akin moments.”
“On August 19, Todd Akin said, only some rapes are ‘legitimate,’” a narrator says in McCaskill’s new ad. “What will he say next?”
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.