Todd Akin Opens Door to Possible Exit

Here's what Missouri Congressman Todd Akin said when I asked if he was in the race to stay - even if it looked like he would lose and possibly cost Republicans control of the Senate.

"Well George, I'm never going to say everything that could possibly happen. I don't know the future, but I do know this. I know that the party voters took a look at our hearts, understood who we were, had a chance to meet us in many, many different ways and made a decision," Akin told me. "And it makes me uncomfortable to think that the party bosses are going to dictate who runs as opposed to the election process."

Republicans are lining up to ask Akin to drop out, including Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan. And the Chairman of the Republican Party asked Akin not to attend next week's convention in Tampa.

Akin told me he will honor the wishes of Reince Priebus and not attend the convention, but insists he can still win the Senate seat. He's staying in the race because of how he won the primary - running on his principles.

"We've given this a lot of thought. The fact is that over more than a year period of time, a number of us ran in this Republican primary. Each of us had our messages. I was outspent by a large amount in terms of media. And yet by standing on principle and putting politics aside and talking about the foundations of this country, the people of Missouri chose me to be their candidate," he said.

The Republican Party and Super PACs have pulled their money from his campaign after Akin said "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down" on a local TV station Sunday.

Akin has since apologized for his comment, telling me this morning that "the word legitimate doesn't ever have a good reason to be standing next to rape. There is no rape that is legitimate."

The congressman, who sits on the House Science Committee, also admits that statement was medically wrong.

"The point of the matter is that, yes, pregnancy can happen as a result of rape. I understand that and I've acknowledged that fact. At the same time I don't apologize for the fact that I'm consistently pro-life. I believe in defending the unborn and I believe that based on those kinds of principles I can win this race," he said.

- George Stephanopoulos

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