Todd Akin: ‘I should have said legitimate case of rape’

Former congressman Todd Akin (R-M0.) said Thursday that he used a poor choice of words in 2012 when he suggested "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy, but stood by his argument, asserting that he should have used slightly different wording.

Akin, whose 2012 Senate campaign was derailed by the controversy his remarks set off, argued on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" that he was using the language of law enforcement agencies.

"Legitimate rape is a law enforcement term. And it's abbreviation for legitimate case of rape," said Akin. The former congressman added, "If I had been choosing my words better, I should have said legitimate case of rape. And I have acknowledged that it is a poor choice of words."

Akin, as he has done in several media interviews in recent weeks, argued that his words were deliberately distorted.

"This is something that was intentionally misunderstood and twisted for political purposes," he said.

Akin is back in the spotlight promoting his new book, “Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom." Akin writes that he regrets apologizing for his "legitimate rape" comment in a television commercial.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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