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.