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Akin staying

Todd Akin announces he's in the Senate race to stay, as a statutory deadline for his withdrawal passes.

ST. LOUIS • There was some national media on hand at Todd Akin's news conference Tuesday, apparently there in the belief that he might announce a last-second withdrawal from the U.S. Senate race on today's withdrawal deadline.

But anyone who's watched Akin in the six weeks since his "legitimate rape" comments made him a household name knew that wasn't going to happen.

"I was given a trust" in the August Republican primary that put him on the ballot, Akin told about 200 enthusiastic supporters in a ballroom at the downtown Renaissance. ". . . A number of people have asked me, 'Are you quitting?' . . . I don't believe that is really my decision."

He added, to heavy cheering from the crowd: "I have a purpose going into November and that's to replace Claire McCaskill."

Akin, the Wildwood congressman, has been bucking national pressure from his fellow Republicans to get out of the race so they could appoint someone else to face McCaskill, the incumbent Democratic senator who had been a prime GOP target before Akin's remarks.

To drive home the point that he isn't going anywhere, Akin today kicks off a statewide campaign bus tour.

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