U.S. Rep. Todd Akin made several campaign stops in the Kansas City area Wednesday.
Despite Republican Party leaders seeking his departure from the U.S. Senate race, Akin said he is in it to defeat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO.
"Right now, I have no doubt (that) I have the majority of the Republican people in the state supporting me," Akin said. "What I've found is the great people of Missouri say, 'We forgive you. We're not upset about it.'"
He said voters don't have to like him, but that his voting record will win him the election.
Top Republican leaders have called on Akin to withdraw, saying he cannot defeat McCaskill after his comments about "legitimate rape."
In an interview last month, Akin, a six-term congressman, was asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.
"From what I understand from doctors that's really rare," Akin said of a rape victim's chances of becoming pregnant. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
He has since apologized repeatedly and said he made a mistake.
"I had a foot-in-mouth incident with the press," Akin said Wednesday.
He said "a certain limited amount of party bosses" are urging him to step aside. He said party leaders are "hammering" on him, but he said he won't return fire.
"I won't talk about it and the reason I won't because I'm not trying to start a war in the Republican Party," he said.
He said he believes all will be forgotten when he defeats McCaskill.
"When I get to the Senate, it's a new day. It's a new year. We're going to develop our relationships," he said.
He said he has never been a favorite of party leaders and he overcame better-financed opponents in the Republican Primary on Aug. 7. He said Washington GOP leaders should not be able to push someone aside and appoint someone who was not chosen by the voters.
If Akin were going to remove himself from the statewide ballot, that deadline is Sept. 25.
Akin spoke about the violence in the Middle East during his campaign appearances. He issued a statement to reporters.
"The attack on our consulate and thoughtless killing of American diplomats in Libya serve to remind of the sacrifice of those in service overseas," he said. "This senseless attacks and murder underscores the irrational hatred that some still harbor for our country and our citizens. Our heart and prayers go to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and for their friends and family."
Akin also criticized McCaskill.
"She's trying to tell people she's a moderate and she's voted 98 percent of the time with (President) Barack Obama," Akin said. "You've got to have a sense of humor to make that kind of statement."
The National Journal said McCaskill has consistently ranked among the 10 most moderate members of the Senate. Other media outlets have also said McCaskill is a moderate who often breaks with the Democratic Party leadership. In addition, fact-checking organizations have disputed the 98 percent figure.
"It's a proven fact that Claire is the most moderate U.S. Senator. On a scale of 1 to 100, liberal to conservative, Claire comes it at number 50. It's that simple: she's on our side first. On the other hand, Todd Akin is among the most extreme members in Congress and believes compromise is a dirty word. For Todd, it's literally my way or the highway," according to a statement issued Wednesday afternoon by McCaskill's re-election campaign.
The Missouri Farm Bureau's political reiterated this week its endorsement of Akin. The organization polled its members after the "legitimate rape" uproar and asked members whether the PAC should withdraw its endorsement. Members overwhelmingly voted to maintain their support of Akin.
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