Todd Akin Legitimate Rape Comment Apology: Damage Control May Not Save Akin

Besieged by the backlash from both sides of the aisle for his comments about “legitimate rape”, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin has issued a video apology for his remarks. 

The statement, which shows what appears to be a humbled and sincere Akin nestled in the comfortable confines of his home, stands out for its directness. In it, Akin states he, “used the wrong words in the wrong way,” and it concludes with the Congressman asking the general public for its forgiveness.

Supporters of the Senatorial candidate will point to the mea culpa as the righting of a wrong, the admission of guilt by a politician who misspoke during an interview. Opponents of Mr. Akin will undoubtedly dismiss the apology as a public relations necessity, and a last-gasp effort to win back the good graces of the Republican Party — which has kept Mr. Akin at arm’s length since his comments.

The larger question is, will his public apology be effective in helping undo the damage to his campaign? In the current climate of instantaneous news, sound bite manipulation, and us versus them politics, is it possible for a candidate to recover from what some view as a fatal campaign misstep? 

Has the general public grown immune to scripted apologies from politicians, athletes, and celebrities alike? Can sincerity and perspective prevail over the large shadow of cynicism and distrust that is cast by the American people?

Those questions will be answered in November when voters in Missouri go to the polls to elect their Senator (unless, of course, Mr. Akin bows to the political pressure from within his party and withdraws from the race). 

Unfortunately for him, whether or not Congressman Akin’s apology is “legitimate” doesn’t matter. The story of the congressman’s comments will continue to serve as ammunition for Democrats and Liberals as they position the GOP as not friendly to women and women’s issues.  

For the right, Akin’s quote serves as a distraction at the most inopportune time as the Republican National Convention gets underway in Tampa, Florida. Either way, Todd Akin has been left on an island by himself with only his radioactive comments to keep him company.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Gil Gonzalez

Author, writer and blogger. Connecting people, building relationships, and affecting change. Sports fan, tech geek and music lover. Peanut butter junkie. Father of two beautiful children and husband to one amazing woman.

MORE FROM

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

Scaramucci once asked Obama if he’d be softer on Wall Street. It didn’t end well.

The exchange came during a CNBC town hall on the financial crisis, two years into Obama’s presidency.