KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin says that he misspoke after making some controversial comments about pregnancy and rape on a St. Louis-area talk show over the weekend, starting a political firestorm that drew national attention.
On Sunday, Akin told an interviewer at St. Louis FOX affiliate KTVI that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" don't get pregnant because their bodies have a way to "shut that whole thing down."
Akin's comments drew national attention almost immediately, including a response from his opponent in November, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who posted on her Twitter account, "As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases,I'm stunned by Rep Akin's comments about victims this AM"
"The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive," McCaskill later added in a statement.
On Sunday afternoon, Akin's campaign released a statement from the candidate apologizing for the remarks.
"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year," said Akin in a statement.
During his television appearance in St. Louis, Akin added that he still opposes all abortions, even in the instance of rape.
"You know, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not the attack on the child," said Akin.
GOP strategist Anne Presley told FOX 4 that she doubts that Akin's comment won't affect the outcome in November's election, saying that those who are anti-abortion will continue to support Akin, while McCaskill voters will still be supporting her.
But Presley admitted that Akin used poor language during his interview.