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7 big political apologies (including Todd Akin)
Rep. Todd Akin, R-Missouri, ran a political ad titled "forgiveness."
August 22nd, 2012
03:10 PM ET

7 big political apologies (including Todd Akin)

By Allison Brennan, CNN

(CNN) - Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin apologized this week for asserting that women could prevent conception in cases of “legitimate rape,” including in a TV ad titled “forgiveness.”

There’s a long tradition of politicians giving public apologies, though those acts of contrition usually come after revelations about sexual improprieties.

Here’s a list of seven high-profile political apologies, which often draw on a religious lexicon. Which other apologies should we add?

1. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s political ad, which was released Tuesday:

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.

2. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich addressed his two previous marriages and his affair with Callista Bisek, now his wife, in an interview with ABC News while campaigning for president earlier this year:

There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards and my neighbors' standards. But I think my job is to try to do for my country - and on a very personal level for my children and for my grandchildren and for their future - to try to do everything I can to be a servant in helping this country … I hope that people will see me in that context.

3. Then-Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, apologized and resigned at a news conference last year after revelations that he'd sent lewd pictures to women via social networking sites.

I’m here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my neighbors and constituents, but I make it particularly to my wife Huma. I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district had elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately, the distraction I have created has made that impossible.

4. Then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer apologized and resigned in a 2008 news conference after revelations about his relationship with a prostitute:

I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me. I will try once again outside of politics to serve the common good. … Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

5. Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, asked for forgiveness at a 2007 news conference after his phone number turned up in the phone records of alleged "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible. Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there - with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.

6. Then-New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey admitted to an affair with a man and resigned from office in a 2004 press conference:

At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is. And so, my truth is that I am a gay American. … Shamefully, I engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable. And for this, I ask the forgiveness and the grace of my wife.

7. Then-President Bill Clinton admitted to an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in a nationally-televised 1998 address:

Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. … I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that. … Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most - my wife and our daughter - and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Politics

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. james ainoris

    Every election the same things come up gays abortion and immigration....economy... religious bully groups like evangelicals and cathloics try to push their weight around...they forget America is NOT a christian country! They go nutz about abortion but 3 million christian humans have been murdered in Sudan...only Israel (the Jews) have saved significant numbers(50000) while these hypocrites eat at chik a flix thousands of their (nonwhite) christian brothers and children die...why dont they rescue some christian children? these same groups blocked blocked the Wagner-Rodgers (wagner was my great uncle)bill which tried to rescue 40000 jewish children under 14yo To welcoming homes in america all were murdered by nazi europe. So self righteous and hypocritcal alot of you are.... your jeezuz hated hypocrites...remember. He studied under Rabbi Hillel one of the greatest Rabbi's...who was considered liberal but not with G-ds TORAH law....your all crazy! Shalom may moshiach come quickly in our day.

    August 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  2. Journal of Pediatrics

    I had gone through your blog.It is very interesting.

    August 24, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  3. Journal of Pediatrics

    Rally all the facts are true.

    August 24, 2012 at 6:19 am |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    What a profoundly ignorant man! Men like Todd Akin and Rick Perry and certainly many others get by on just a firm handshake and a twinkle in their eye. Leadership qualities separable from what we actually need from a leader. They are parasites and it's scary how far they can go.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  5. PsiCop

    I note that nearly all of these 7"apologies" are not actually "apologies." They are, rather, "non-apology apologies," in which any contrition they may express is diluted by deflection to other matters unrelated to the offense, by minimizing the offense itself, making excuses for it, etc. The one that comes closest to being genuine is McGreevey's.

    August 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  6. Jack

    Greetings. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    See prayer change my life at saladandchips.com.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • kindless

      Not true. Atheism of course is actually wonderful for all people! Atheists don't hide their misdeeds within their religions and so they are more responsible to society. Atheists don't allow their minds to be weakened by make-believe people that politicians and lobbyists and salesmen sold to weak minds long ago, and still do today. And prayer is really just a time-sucker-upper. Be a responsible member of society and get rid of all those make-believe people in your weak minds.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • PsiCop

      Militant theism is the greatest threat we face. Thanks for providing a great example of it.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists have murdered more people in the last 100 years than have been killed in all previous centuries.

      August 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      truth be told lied with: "Atheists have murdered more people in the last . . ."

      we've been over this before. you know hitler was a christian, etc. It's so old that you keep rehashing lies and generalizations that are of no use. (The individual cruel rulers who have claimed religion before, during and sometimes after their reigns – it doesn't shed any light on religion any more than it does on atheism). what it of use is entire organizations that have murdered people in the name of someone – let's see – that would be ALL major religions including Christianity who are guilty of that.

      August 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • truth be told

      hitler was an atheist

      August 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Hitler was an atheist. " False.

      August 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Hitler was a Christian
      Pol Pot was a Buddhist
      Stalin was a Christian, then abandoned it temporarily for political reasons, then restored it
      It just makes no sense to define what religion or atheism is in terms of these individuals that are your only "proof" to support your idiotic claims. You are just being silly and showing a lack of basic education and an inability to rationalize, truth be told, aka "Atheism is not Healthy...", aka HeavenSent.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • truth be told

      All those were atheists. Most of the so called atheists posting here also have some relationship with churches and belief systems but that does not make them an adherent. They all lived, hated, murdered, tortured and died as atheist adults. But thanks for playing

      August 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • midwest rail

      No true Scotsman...

      August 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TuBeTop doesn't know what that means, midwest. You'll have to explain it. Be sure to t y p e v e r y s l o w l y a n d u s e w o r d s o f o n e s y l l a b l e.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Tom Tom – I think you were yaking with a Keith earlier – is the the same old KEEF or is that a new KEEF?

      August 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven liar. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs .

      August 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • kindless

      Not true. You have no proof of anything. Atheism of course is actually wonderful for all people! Atheists don't hide their misdeeds within their religions and so they are more responsible to society. Atheists don't allow their minds to be weakened by make-believe people that politicians and lobbyists and salesmen sold to weak minds long ago, and still do today. And prayer is really just a time-sucker-upper. Be a responsible member of society and get rid of all those make-believe people in your weak minds.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • PsiCop

      Prayer changes nothing. Proven.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  9. Atheism is the natural state of all living things

    One must be taught to believe in things that do not exist.

    August 23, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • niknak

      No they don't. They just have to be lemmings and be very young.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Simran

      Now "Taught"is a strong word. Brainwashing seems appropriate in this case.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • truth be told

      All creation honors and worships the creator God. Only a very few misdirected humans take issue with God.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      tbt: it is not the creator god that people have an issue with. it is with those imbeciles (yourself included) who purport to speak for god we have the issue with.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • truth be told

      After reviewing the post by sam have come to the conclusion that sam is totally full of sh it.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @truth be told

      Do you believe in leprechauns? Bigfoot? Ancient Aliens? If you don't believe in any of those, is it because your mad at the thing you don't believe? If someone tried to make a law that required everyone to give homage to the mighty leprechauns or the great aliens, would you be mad at the thing you don't think exist, or the people who are trying to force you to think ike they do?
      I don't expect a real answer to this though, since that hasn't really been your MO.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      You are replying to a stolen name.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • kindless

      Not true actually. It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. Teaching kids to be agnostic helps reinforce their understanding of the new real things they can see and learn about in life. It helps them properly separate the known from the unknown without confusing them. They just need to be taught things that are unknown, like god, and things that are made up, like all religion.

      Atheists have strong minds, and don't run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, disserving society).

      Prayer is mostly a time-sucker-upper. The best time to think about someone who is ill or just someone else you wish well is – well any time you can think about them or actually do something for them with your strong mind. So don't weaken your mind by adding in make-believe characters.

      We have only begun to scratch the surface in using the mind to its maximum, and damaging it with made-up junk that politicians and salesmen dreamed up long ago is senseless, and as history has shown, it dangerous to society.

      old mama kindless

      August 23, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs .

      August 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  11. WASP

    i just love how these guys bring religion into their apologies "I've fallen short of God's standards" , "I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife" , "and our God." i love the second one, how does old newt know "god" truly forgave him? seriously did god speak to newt and tell him " i forgive you" or did he do like most and cherry pick the bible to forgive himself? lol

    August 23, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • niknak

      That is another plus to having a magic man in the sky. When you make a mistake or do something stupid, you always have the "migical" trump card to play.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  12. Reality

    With the morning after pill, ra-pe kits and Ru486, the issue in minor. Having clueless lawmakers, the issue becomes major.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  13. Bootyfunk

    notice apologies #2-7 are about infidelities. who cares? that's between him and his wife. but apology #1 is from Akin - about r.ape victims. his is the only one outside his own family, about other people. Akin has all the knowledge of a 2nd grader when it comes to human biology. this man is the face of ignorance in a modern world. that he is running for one of the most powerful political positions in the world, US Senate - is fvcking scary.

    the republican party is the party of dinosaurs. Akin's ridiculously archaic views are supported in the bible. according to the bible, a woman that is r.aped must marry her r.apist. i wonder how many christians have ever read that part of the bible. the root of many misogynistic views come from the bible. it all goes hand in hand. this christard's socially conservative views are typical of the republican zombies that will vote for him.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • err

      Once again you are quoting jewish law and calling jews Christians. I really dont think you like Jews. How many did your Nazi relatives push into gas chambers you anti semite jew hater.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Noodles

      You may not have noticed that lots of politicians manage to make themselves look like fools. Carolyn McCarthy comes to mind, she of "the shoulder thing that goes up" or the positively batty Cynthia McKinney,

      August 23, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      no, that's not just jewish law - that's christian law. the NT doesn't replace the OT - it just adds to it. jesus himself says not one letter from the OT is to be dropped. stop making excuses for christianity.

      and you're wrong, i love jews like i love all my brothers and sisters. you're an idiot. you definitely haven't read the bible. try thinking before you type. just once.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Mass Debater

      @err – I can only assume you are a troll because your post is beyond ignorant. And calling booty a Nazi for claiming Christians should read their own bibles? That is rich. It's exactly people with your obvious mental deficiencies that allowed groups like the Nazi's to rise to power because you are too stupid to know when you are being used.

      August 23, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  14. ArthurP

    God must like to kill the unborn, he does it so often:

    There are about 4.4 million confirmed pregnancies in the U.S. every year.

    900,000 to 1 million of those end in pregnancy losses EVERY year.

    More than 500,000 pregnancies each year end in miscarriage (occurring during the first 20 weeks).

    Approximately 26,000 end in stillbirth (considered stillbirth after 20 weeks)

    August 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Jim

      Good thing most Christian familys have 3.5 kids (or more if your a Duggerd) And non beleivers are at an all time low in birthrates. At this rate we will over take you in a few short generations.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "At this rate we will over take you in a few short generations."

      Assuming you are successful in indoctrinating your children to believe the sham of religion.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:16 am |
  15. Kebos

    What an embarrassment to America. And that's not easy to do.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  16. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Akin is the epitome of idiocy in politics! Today and for all time that has ever been or will ever pass! Typical fool who don't know $h|+ from shinola! Spouting off BS and people would probably still vote for his DUMB @$$ if given the chance! Just look what this country did with George W. Dolt!

    August 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  17. err

    Akin is a Democrate planted Troll, just like the fa.gs who ra.p.e little boys in the Catholic Church.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow. Let me guess, you think the earth is really 6-10k years old and that humans ran around with dinosaurs. I bet you think Ray Comfort is a genius.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      damn hawaiiguest you are reading my mind again.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      (@hawaiiguest) but i was thinking more of david barton that this ray comfort..lol

      August 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • err

      And I guess you beleive there was nothing, no gas, no chemicals, no materials and then it exploded and over millions of yrs life just happend to form?

      August 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      fun fact:

      err means d.o.u.c.h.e bag in 17 languages!

      August 23, 2012 at 6:26 am |
  18. truth teller

    Ted Kennedy did not make all democrats murderers.nor does Todd akin make all reps idiots.Clean your closet before you point fingers

    August 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Well Kennedy did not try to enshrine murder in the const.itution. That is the difference.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      No – of course akin did not "make all reps idiots". That's just silly. He just represents a very big chunk of them. And every so often, the nature of the reptile is exposed.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  19. Bootyfunk

    Akin, the face of evil in a modern world.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • meanwhile

      Prince Harry, the rockin' bod of royalty in a modern world.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Samire

      It depends on what you think. They're still klliing animals for the leather. Though I admit I have worn leather quite a few times since becoming a pescetarian. I wouldn't feel horrible about it, but if there is another option to wearing something that is made out of leather then I would choose the other option. If it is unavoidable, not your choice or anything, well, then there isn't any other option is there?

      September 9, 2012 at 4:02 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.