Rape-gaffe politician's empty chair interview

By Paul Harper

When Todd Akin backed out of his interview with CNN host Piers Morgan, the host pulled the 'empty chair' on air instead. Photo / YouTube
When Todd Akin backed out of his interview with CNN host Piers Morgan, the host pulled the 'empty chair' on air instead. Photo / YouTube

CNN host Piers Morgan has labelled under-fire Republican Todd Akin a "gutless little twerp" after he failed to appear for an interview on his show, Piers Tonight.

Akin, a congressman who's running for Missouri's Senate, has refused to quit the race for comments he made about how pregnancy from 'legitimate rape' was extremely rare.

He had agreed to be interviewed by Morgan, but was a no-show.

Morgan pushed ahead with the interview anyway - featuring an empty chair live on air.

"Good evening, you're looking live at the empty chair that Todd Akin was supposed to be sitting in for a live, prime time exclusive interview," he began.

"He is of course the only man in America that everyone is talking about tonight."

Akin's campaign to be elected to the Senate took a dive after he told a St Louis television station that pregnancy from "legitimate rape" was rare.

The anti-abortionist claimed that if a woman is raped her body "has ways to shut that whole thing down".

The comments have been jumped on by his opponents and roundly slammed by women's rights groups.

His own party has abandoned him. His comments have been rebuked by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican party has pulled more than $5 million in advertising set aside for his campaign.

Morgan had Akin booked in to tell his side of the story, however his advisor, Rex Elsass, pulled the pin on the interview at the "last possible moment", having earlier agreed for Akin to appear.

The no-show left the former News of the World editor addressing an empty chair.

"It is a very nice empty chair, but it remains an empty chair," Morgan said.

"Why would he say yes then no?

"We can only speculate, but we can tell you this: Todd Akin has until tomorrow, 6pm EST, to say whether he is staying in the race or bowing out and have the GOP replace him on the ballot.

"And congressman, you have an open invitation to join me in that chair whenever you feel up to it. Because if you don't keep your promise to appear on the show, then you are what we would call in Britain a gutless little twerp."

Akin wasn't the only no-show for Morgan. Akin's Democratic rival Claire McGaskill cancelled prior to her appearance on the show.

Piers Morgan's voiced his opinion of Akin on Twitter while the congressman appeared on Fox News' Huckabee show, where he said he would remain in the Senate race.

"Listening to @ToddAkin on Huckabee - I think the empty chair made more sense last night," he wrote.

"Incredible - @ToddAkin just told Huckabee he's staying in the race because 'there's something missing here.' Yes, between your ears.

"'I didn't say anything ethically or morally wrong' - @ToddAkin (well, other than women can't get pregnant via 'legitimate' rape...obviously)"

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