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Keyes Blames Media, GOP for Loss

Alan Keyes (search) blamed the media and fellow Republicans on Thursday for his lopsided loss to Democrat Barack Obama (search) in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois.

Keyes also said he did not congratulate Obama after the race was called, a tradition among politicians, because doing so would have been a "false gesture" because he believes Obama's views on issues like abortion are wicked.

"I'm supposed to make a call that represents the congratulations toward the triumph of that which I believe ultimately stands for and will stand for a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country," Keyes said. "I can't do this, and I will not make a false gesture."

The former diplomat and two-time presidential candidate, who lost to Obama by 43 percentage points Tuesday, gave his first post-election interview Thursday to a Christian talk show host.

Keyes said that despite the loss, he thought he did a good job spreading his message of moral values in the short time he had to campaign. Republicans drafted Keyes in August after primary winner Jack Ryan (search) dropped out amid a scandal over sex club allegations in his divorce files. Keyes is from Maryland and had never lived in Illinois.

He also said he was disappointed in what he called the number of "Republicans in name only" in Illinois. An Associated Press exit poll showed that four in 10 Republicans voted for Obama, a liberal state senator from Chicago.

"I had counted on the fact that Republicans would come back home on Election Day rather than vote a socialist into office who stands against everything they profess to believe as Republicans," Keyes said.

Keyes noted that 1.3 million people voted for him.

But Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs pointed out that 70 percent of the vote went to Obama, more than 3.4 million votes.

"The people of Illinois rendered a very clear decision on Tuesday by handing Alan Keyes the greatest election defeat in Illinois Senate history. Barack Obama's attention is focused on the important work he now must do for all the people of Illinois."

Keyes said a major difficulty in his campaign was overcoming the "stranglehold" the media had on trying to define the issues of importance in political campaigns.

"I refused to accept their authority, and I still do," Keyes said.