Todd Akin Ad

(CNN) -- The Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, under fire for his controversial comments about rape, has recorded a television commercial in which he asks for "forgiveness."

In the ad, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin also says "I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize" in explaining his comments in a TV interview Sunday that a woman's body is capable of preventing pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

The Akin campaign tells CNN the spot should start running statewide in Missouri beginning Tuesday.

Akin has come under incredible pressure over the past 24 hours from top Republican leaders to give up his bid for the Senate, or to spend time considering what's best for himself, his family, his party, and the country, which is political code for urging the six term congressman to quit the race.

That pressure has come from such leaders as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, as well as presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

But Akin, in two radio interviews Monday, declared that he's staying in the race. He was scheduled to appear Monday night on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," but canceled at the last minute, sparking a flurry of comments on Twitter.

In the ad, which was first reported by Politico, Akin looks directly into the camera, saying: "Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault and I pray for them. The fact is rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness."

Missouri election rules allow a candidate to withdraw with little difficulty through Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, which is 11 weeks prior to the November 6 election.

After Tuesday, the candidate must get a court order and pay for any necessary reprinting of ballots. The state Republican Party would choose another candidate to run against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, considered one of the most vulnerable senators in the country.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee headed by Cornyn has advised Akin that it will not support his campaign if he stays in the race, a source from the group told CNN.

The race is Missouri is crucial to GOP hopes of winning back the Senate, and national Republicans are targeting McCaskill, who faces a difficult re-election to a second term. The Democrats currently have a 53-47 majority in the chamber, but are defending 23 (21 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party) of the 33 seats up for grabs in November.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 166940386 -
Gray Television, Inc.