Just when you thought Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin couldn't be defended for his "legitimate rape" comment, conservative former child star Kirk Cameron came to the congressman's aide, as Akin refused to bow out of the race amid growing pressure to pull out.
Cameron, the former "Growing Pains" star who infamously said homosexuality was "unnatural" during a CNN interview earlier this year, went on the network again Tuesday to defend Akin's widely panned remarks.
"I would encourage people to sit down and watch the video . ... He clearly is a pro-life advocate and for that I respect him," Cameron said in the clip. "He said that he misspoke and that he misphrased something and that he apologized ... I would like to be evaluated by my entire career and my entire life, not two words that I would misspeak and later apologize for, so he's in a tough spot."
A tough spot, indeed, with top Republican officials calling on Akin to withdraw from the Missouri U.S. Senate race against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo after he said women who were victims of "legitimate rape" rarely gave birth.
"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said during a televised interview. "But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."
The comments led Akin's fellow Republicans, including presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, to urge him to get out of the race with McCaskill so the GOP could find a replacement.
"Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong," Romney said in a statement. "Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive."
Also condemning Akin's remarks was U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which helps field GOP candidates.
"Congressman Akin's statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible," Cornyn said in a statement Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal. "I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service."
But Akin did not yield to the pressure, vowing to fight on during an interview Tuesday on Mike Huckabee's radio show.
"We are going to continue this race for the U.S. Senate," Akin told Huckabee Tuesday afternoon, according to CBS News. "We believe taking this stand is going to strengthen our country, going to strengthen, ultimately, the Republican Party."
The GOP can still field a replacement candidate for Akin, although the party would need a court order to do so, CBS News reported.