Todd Akin still running, as outsider


Rep. Todd Akin (AP)

In case it wasn't clear, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) went on Mike Huckabee's radio show again Tuesday and declared, "We are going to continue this race for the U.S. Senate."

The embattled Missouri Senate candidate is casting his campaign not just as a fight against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) but as a grass-roots charge against the GOP brass.

"We believe taking this stand is going to strengthen our country — going to strengthen, ultimately, the Republican Party," he said. "What we're doing here is standing on a principle of what America is."

And he suggested that the calls to end his campaign simply weren't fair. "I haven't done anything morally or ethically wrong," he said. "It does seem like a little bit of an overreaction."

Powerful Republicans both inside and outside the state have called on Akin to end his bid over his comments on "legitimate rape." But 24 hours of lobbying appears to have only strengthened the congressman's resolve.

Akin said that "good friends, closer than brothers" had asked him to stick it out. "I believe there's a cause here and a part of the message that's missing." He added that he has received "continuing calls from other congressman" expressing their support. (He did not name any of these congressman.)

He compared his race to the GOP primary, when he was out-raised by rivals and lacked institutional backing.

"What we're seeing right now is a tremendous outpouring of support from just regular small people," he said. "They're not the big party people."

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Natalie Jennings | August 21, 2012