POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 7:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Republicans have cut off his party funding and blasted him for his remarks about rape, but Missouri GOP Congressman Todd Akin said again Tuesday he will stay in the Senate race.
Akin bought TV time to apologize for saying some rapes are not "legitimate".
"The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness," he says in the ad.
Still, Republicans are ganging up on Akin.
"I think you've seen complete unity that he ought to get out of the race," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
Already trailing in national surveys of women voters, the Romney-Ryan campaign could be in jeopardy.
"A week before the national convention, this is not what the GOP wants to be talking about," says former RNC Chairman and current MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele. "They want to be talking about those moms out there who are still trying to balance budgets."
In Tampa, site of the convention where the Republicans hope to widen their appeal, the GOP platform committee was considering a ban on abortion, even after a rape.
Mitt Romney told NBC affiliate WCMH he won't be bound by that.
"In case of incest and rape, and when the life of the mother is at stake, in those circumstances, I think abortion may be appropriate," Romney said.
Democrats rushed to point out that Paul Ryan, who opposes abortion for rape victims, worked with Todd Akin in Congress to toughen the definition of rape to "forcible rape".
"Not only has Paul Ryan cosponsored and voted for all these bills, but 232 other Republicans share this point of view," points out Wisconsin's Representative Gwen Moore.
Conservative activists put absolute abortion bans in the gop platforms of 2004 and 2008.
Nominees George W. Bush and John McCain ignored them.