By Ryan Buxton, EnStarz | Aug 21, 2012 02:24 PM EDT
Former "Growing Pains" actor Kirk Cameron has come to the defense of Todd Akin, the Republican Senate candidate who spurred nationwide outrage for his comments about "legitimate rape."
Akin is in hot water after remarks he made about not aborting pregnancies caused by rape went viral, drawing ire from critics who say Akin disrespected the victims of rape.
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His full comment: "It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."
Akin has paid the price for his words - leaders of the Republican party have withdrawn their support and millions of dollars in funding formerly dedicated to Akin's campaign for a Senate seat in Missouri.
But in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, 41-year-old Cameron threw the troubled politician some support.
"[Akin] clearly is a pro-life advocate, and for that I respect him," Cameron said, adding that Akin "said that he misspoke and that he misphrased something and that he apologized."
Cameron acknowledged that what Akin said was wrong, but the actor feels the politician should be forgiven and praised for his big-picture ideas about abortion.
"I'm the kind of person that would like to be evaluated by my entire career and my entire life, not two words that I would misspeak and later apologize for," Cameron said. "He's in a tough spot."
Most everyone else has vehemently worked to distance themselves from Akin, including Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who called Akin's comments "insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong."
Cameron is accustomed to drawing headlines for his often controversial conservative views. Earlier this year he caused an uproar for calling homosexuality "detrimental and destructive."
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