Akin loses support over rape comments

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ST. LOUIS -- Rep. Todd Akin fought to salvage his Senate campaign Monday, even as members of his party turned against him and a key source of campaign funding was cut off in outrage over the Missouri congressman's comments that women are able to prevent pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape."

Akin made no public appearances but went on former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's national radio show to apologize. He vowed to continue his bid for higher office.

"The good people of Missouri nominated me, and I'm not a quitter," Akin said.

But he seemed to be losing political support by the hour as fellow Republicans urged him to abandon a race the party had long considered essential in their bid to regain control of the Senate. Incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill is seen as vulnerable in opinion polls.

An official with the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee said the group's head, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, called Akin Monday to tell him that the committee had withdrawn $5 million in advertising planned for the Missouri race. The Karl Rove-backed Crossroads organization, also pulled its ads in Missouri.

Publicly, Cornyn called Akin's comments "indefensible." The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said Akin's remarks may "prevent him from effectively representing" the Republican Party.

Two other Republican senators -- Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin -- urged Akin to give up the Senate race. Akin also got a swift rebuke from the campaign of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan.

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