Former Rep. Todd Akin, hounded out of office for his explosive comment about "legitimate rape,'' says the Republican Party is terrified of the liberal media and will trash anybody, even a staunch conservative like himself, who falls into its disfavor.
"They were afraid — what were they afraid of? They were afraid of a media that could target and assassinate somebody by misinterpreting what they'd said,'' Akin told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' in an interview aired Tuesday on Newsmax TV
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"If you're trying to advance good ideas, what's good and true, what brings freedom, lets people follow the dreams in their hearts . . . you never advance it by backing down from things that are just plain wrong, from people who are hiding evil and telling lies.
"You never can advance it unless you stand up, and firing back is about standing up.''
Akin, who represented Missouri's 2nd Congressional District from 2001 to 2013, was leading in his bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, in 2012.
But his lead vanished after he said women who are victims of what he called "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because their bodies prevent it. Democrats, women's groups and even his own party condemned the remark. Akin apologized, but ignored demands from the GOP to drop out of the race, which he lost.
Akin, author of the new book, "Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom,"
published by WND Books, now regrets having apologized and says the media stirred up a tempest in a teapot.
"I had misspoken, I had used a couple of poor words . . . and all of a sudden it had turned into this humungous media tsunami,'' Akin said.
"It went to the absurd with the media saying all kinds of things that I never said or in fact the exact opposite of what I said . . . You try and change the whole thing by spending enough money. Which we didn't have.
'[The] other alternative we felt was to apologize for the perception that had been created . . . [and] because also the Republican leadership was cutting off our money from behind, our only real choice we felt was to apologize not for what I'd said, but for the perception that it created.''
Akin insists his comment was in no way meant to diminish the crime of rape or advance the so-called GOP "war on women.'' He says that war is one the Democrats are waging via the Obama administration.
"They're encouraging abortions all over the world, and in India and in China those abortions are being used for sex selection, killing little girls. That's a Democrat war on women,'' he said.
He pointed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's long-ago defense of an accused rapist.
"She is [representing] this guy who she knew was guilty of raping a 12-year-old girl and she confounds the 12-year-old girl's testimony by making fun of her, and then in an interview she's laughing about how she got this rapist off the hook,'' Akin said.
"That's a war on women. The media's just got it totally backwards . . . It's a media that is obscuring the truth and betraying a trust to the American people. They should be presenting some kind of truth, and they're not.
"They have their own agenda, they cover up terrible behavior — not just bad words, but terrible behavior in order to push their agenda.''
While Akin remains a Republican, he is clearly distressed at how his party snubbed him after the rape remark, then ended all financial support. Even now, party officials have urged him to stay silent.
"Todd Akin is an embarrassment to the Republican Party and the sole reason Claire McCaskill is still part of Harry Reid's majority," Brian Walsh, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2012 election cycle, told Politico last week.
Walsh added that he "refuses to take any responsibility for sticking his foot in his mouth, alienating voters and costing Republicans a critical Senate seat. Worse, he's now trying to make money off his defeat. The sooner he leaves the stage again, the better."
Akin remains defiant.
"When my own party abandoned me in the field, I thought, well there's nothing new about that . . . But when they came back to try to terminate me, that was a different story entirely,'' Akin said of his 2012 meltdown.
"But now moving forward, this is what concerns me. In the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove and other Republicans saying, look, Akin proves you can't elect a conservative.
"Now, that just flat-out doesn't make any sense. Look at the record. I'm 24 years a hard-core conservative, 12 years in the House, 12 years in the state House, re-elected by tremendous majorities all the time. My record proves conservatives can get elected.''
Akin denies claims that his book, and its unapologetic tone, will hurt the Republicans.
"I don't think so. I'm trying to help the Republican Party and I'm trying to make some useful suggestions, and the first thing is I'm trying to make it absolutely clear that this war on women is owned by the Democrats and it's time Republicans stand up and tell the truth'' he said.
"If I thought we were going to harm not so much the party, but if we were going to harm America, if we were going to set back the cause of truth and good ideas and what's right, then I just wouldn't have done it.
"But that's what motivates me entirely. It's not a political agenda, it's about the country, it's about doing what's right . . . Our country is . . . with our current administration, it's a disaster in all kinds of areas. We have to take this country back.''
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