ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Todd Akin isn't ruling out a political comeback, nearly six months after losing Missouri's U.S. Senate race amid widespread criticism of his comments about "legitimate rape."
Akin recently spoke to KSDK in his first interview since losing the November election to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. He said he's ready for a comeback but hasn't decided if that will be in academia, public speaking, or even politics.
"It's one of those things that depends on the circumstances really," Akin said. "I don't rule anything out. I consider it a bright new future and I'm interested to see what the possibilities are."
The 65-year-old Republican was a 12-year congressman from suburban St. Louis who won a tough Senate primary in August. His campaign took a hit after he remarked in a TV interview that women's bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy from what he called "legitimate rape."
Akin said he wishes he could take back the comment.
"Oh, of course I would," he said. "I've relived them too many times. But that is not reality."
He reiterated that he does not believe the female body can stop a pregnancy in the case of a rape.
"No, no and I apologized for that," he said. "All of us are fallible, we make mistakes, and we say things the wrong way. I really lived that moment many, many times."
The quote immediately became a hot national topic, with Republicans worried it could affect the balance of the Senate and even hurt GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"Republican leadership was strong that you have to step down," Akin recalled. "But there was a very strong grassroots element saying don't you give in to those party bosses. You stay in there and you keep fighting.
"Really what it goes back to is whether the Republican Party is going to be run by the insiders, or run by the grassroots organization," Akin said. "I believe the party will either stand on principled positions or it's going to be replaced by some other party."
As for himself, Akin said he is enjoying life out of the spotlight.
"In my case, I had a chance to change oil in cars, fix things around the house, see my grandchildren," he said. "So there's time to catch your breath."