Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh denied media reports Wednesday that embattled Missouri Republican Todd Akin “defied” Limbaugh’s demand that he drop out of the senatorial race based on earlier comments that women's bodies can prevent pregnancies in case of "legitimate rape."
“It is amazing the things that I say on this show that you in the audience never hear,” Limbaugh complained during Wednesday’s broadcast. “I didn't issue a formal fatwa. Folks, if I had demanded Akin drop out, he'd be gone. If I had demanded that Akin quit the campaign, he'd be gone. I didn't do it and I didn't say that whatever Akin says is gonna dog Romney.”
Limbaugh did acknowledge urging the suburban St. Louis legislator to do the “right thing” during Tuesday’s show prior to the 5 p.m. deadline for Akin to drop out of the race without penalty.
“I let him know what I thought the right thing (was) to do, but I started the program out yesterday by saying it's not my job to come here and tell people what to do with their careers, and I don't join the crowd on these things,” said Limbaugh. “The conventional wisdom forms and I run the other way.”
Limbaugh also dismissed a reporter’s assertion that Mitt Romney may have waited to hear the host’s take on the issue before publicly calling on Akin to drop out of the race.
He also doesn’t put much stock in the possibility of a third-party candidate beating incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill as prominent Republicans like Sarah Palin suggested.
“We are now at August 22nd. I don't know what filing dates are, or any of that, but I do know there isn't a whole lot of time here,” said Limbaugh, who said that many of his callers are supportive of Akin.
“I'm looking at the call board up here, and, folks, there are lot of people who think that Todd Akin's being done dirty,” he said. “A lot of people think Todd Akin is being mistreated, and a lot of people have decided they want to stand by him and that everybody else should, too.”
Limbaugh joked about the incumbent’s popularity, or lack thereof.
“She's unpopular even if she were to be unopposed,” Limbaugh stressed. “I won't go so far as to say that unopposed would beat McCaskill, but it'd be close. She's not popular.”
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