Piers Morgan had some words for Rep. Todd Akin, none of them kind, after Akin backed out of an appearance on his "Piers Morgan Tonight" at the last minute on Monday. In lieu of the Missouri congressman's attendance, Morgan did not bring in another guest but conducted an interview anyway of Akin's empty seat.
"Good evening, you're looking live at the empty chair Todd Akin was supposed to be sitting in for a live, prime-time, exclusive interview," said Morgan as he began his show on Monday. "He is of course the only man anyone in America is talking about tonight."
After explaining to viewers that Akin had decided to cancel at the last minute, when he had been scheduled to address his recent controversial comment about rape, Morgan appealed to the congressman to join him soon, "whenever you feel up to it."
He then went on to say, "Because if you don't keep your promise to appear on the show, then you are what we would call in Britain, 'a gutless little twerp.'"
The Missouri congressman has been trying to save his candidacy ever since an interview he gave on Fox 2 was posted to the Internet on Sunday, revealing Akin's belief that it is very rare for "legitimate rape" to result in pregnancy.
Akin participated in the interview, which took place during a taping of "The Jaco Report" on Fox 2, to promote his campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. When questioned about his position on abortion, Akin said that he felt it should be legal in cases where the mother's life was threatened by the pregnancy. But when pressed about whether that applied to cases of rape, Akin gave his now infamous response, "It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."
Akin continued, "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 on the rapist and not attacking the child."
Akin's failure to honor his scheduled appearance on "Piers Morgan Tonight," came after presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his campaign issued statements censuring Akin. In a televised interview, Romney condemned the congressman's remarks as indefensible. "He should understand that his words, with regards to rape, are not words that I can defend, that we can defend," said Romney, nodding to his running mate, Paul Ryan. "His comments about rape were deeply offensive."
But Morgan's comments against Akin seemed to stir the pot more than Romney's. Soon after Morgan's broadcast, the phrase "#emptychair" began trending on Twitter, even inspiring the novelty Twitter account "@AkinEmptyChair."
But the British CNN anchor didn't stop there, issuing a stream of insulting Twitter responses against Akin. On Tuesday Morgan tweeted, "Incredible - @ToddAkin just told Huckabee he's staying in the race because 'there's something missing here.' Yes, between your ears."