‘Authentic to his beliefs’: Republican lawmaker Todd Akin dies at 74

The Associated Press reported this week that long-serving Republican lawmaker Todd Akin, from Missouri, has passed away. He was 74 years old.

Akin’s son, Perry Akin, provided a statement to the media in which he described his “great father” as “a devoted Christian” who had been “a friend to many.”

“We cherish many fond memories from him driving the tractor at our annual hayride, to his riveting delivery of the freedom story at Fourth of July parties dressed in the full uniform of a colonial minuteman,” Perry Akin said.

He concluded by saying that Todd Aikin’s family “is thankful for his legacy,” characterizing him as “a man with a servant’s heart who stood for truth.”

Past controversy

After representing Missouri in the House of Representatives for a dozen years, Aikin chose to run against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO) in 2012.

However, many observers believe that Aikin’s run was derailed by controversial comments he made regarding his belief that pregnancies stemming from rape are relatively rare.

The GOP nominee said that doctors had told him, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” While Akin initially apologized for the statement, he later retracted the apology in a 2014 book titled, Fighting Back.

“By asking the public at large for forgiveness,” Akin explained, adding, “I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said.”

“I was the target of a media assassination. … So it really didn’t matter about what I said, or logic, or truth. I had mentioned ‘abortion’ and ‘rape.’ That was enough. It was simply an assassination,” Akin noted in his book.

McCaskill reacts

Akin also accused Democrats of employing a double standard against him for continuing to embrace former President Bill Clinton, despite his having faced allegations of sexual assault.

For her part, McCaskill addressed Akin’s passing on Twitter, calling her one-time opponent “a nice man” who “was authentic to his beliefs.”

“He actually believed in everything he said, which is a tribute to his character,” McCaskill added. “My thoughts are with his lovely family.”

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