On ABC's "Good Morning America" today, Republican U.S. Senate Nominee Todd Akin (Mo.) attempted to further explain his recent claim that the female body has ways of avoiding pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."
GMA Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Akin to clarify his use of the word "legitimate."
"The word legitimate doesn't ever have a good reason to be standing next to rape. There is no rape that is legitimate," Akin said, "and I understand that rape is a terrible and a tragic and a violent crime and that's why I have apologized for using that word legitimate because it doesn't belong there." He added, "And I also know that I hurt people... That's why I'm apologizing."
Akin also said he was "medically wrong" in stating that the female body has a mechanism for avoiding pregnancy during rape. "I understand that pregnancy can result from rape and those are terrible circumstances," he said.
Several elected officials in the Republican Party, including GOP Chairman Reince Priebus and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney have called on Akin to withdraw from the Senate race. Priebus has also said he would "prefer" Akin not attend the party convention next week.
As he has indicated in interviews since his controversial remark, Akin said he has no intention of dropping out of the race. "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, "and I don't believe it's right for party bosses to override those voters so I think we should allow things to stand as the election process has unfolded."
Stephanopoulos pressed Akin, asking if he would remain in the race, even if it may cost Republicans the chance of taking over the Senate. "I'm never going to say everything that can possibly happen. I don't know the future," said Akin, adding, "I believe we can win this race."
On whether or not he will attend the convention, Akin said "No, I will respect those wishes [of Priebus]."