Todd Akin backtracks on rape comments

Missouri, by any other name, is misery.  And Missouri is truly misery right now for a Republican party hoping to win back theU.S. Senate. And here's why.

This guy, six-term congressman Todd Akin looked to be the party`s best bet to send first-term senator Claire McCaskill into retirement.

Akin won the Republican nomination in a political three-way a few weeks ago, and held a sizable lead over McCaskill in the polls, until asked during an interview on a St. Louis TV station over the weekend to explain why he’s against abortion.

'If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,' he said. 'But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. You know I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.'

Akin tried to fix things by saying:  "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."

The Romney campaign was pretty quick in tossing Akin under the campaign bus, saying through a spokesperson: "Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."

Although Houstonians can't vote against Akin, the ones we talked to sure didn't like what he said.

'I think that`s horrible. I think it`s ignorant. I think it`s a comment that hurts women,' said Reinnette Marek.

Edie Garcia agreed, saying 'This is just another reason that women really do need to step up and continue to keep fighting for their rights.'

And Laura Labropulus couldn’t believe he said it. 'A woman’s body doesn’t shut down when she’s raped, it’s in shock, and fertilization is obviously going to happen whether or not she’s been raped or not. This is an incredibly sensationalized statement for him to make. I can’t believe he would say something like that.'

 President Obama agrees with them. 'The views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the American people, and certainly doesn't make sense to me. So, what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.'

McCaskill is already using Akin's blunder as a tool to raise money for her re-election, a campaign that was heading down the tubes until it got an early Christmas, thanks to the new Grinch of the Grand Old Party.