Tuesday was the deadline for Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to pull out of the Missouri Senate race, but the embattled candidate announced in a press conference that he is still in it to win.
"I have one purpose going into November, and that's defeating [Sen.] Claire McCaskill," he said.
A number of top Republicans have pressured Akin to drop out of the race since he made the comment in August that victims of "legitimate rape" have mechanisms in their bodies that prevent them from becoming pregnant. But Akin said on Tuesday that he doesn't believe the decision to drop out is his to make. "The decision was made by the voters of the state of Missouri," he said.
Anti-feminist icon Phyllis Schlafly, who has advocated against the Equal Rights Amendment and access to birth control, attended Akin's news conference and voiced her support. Schlafly has attended several Akin fundraisers and campaign events and joined him on Tuesday to launch a "Common Sense" bus tour across Missouri.
Akin said he's confident Missourians will vote for him because he opposes the stimulus and the Affordable Care Act, and he supports low taxes and gun rights. "Claire McCaskill has an 'F' from the National Rifle Association," he said. "I have an 'A.' It's a clear choice."
McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, said in a debate with Akin on Friday that her opponent's desire to privatize Medicare and Social Security and his opposition to providing emergency contraception to rape victims are "extreme and out of the mainstream."