Are National Republicans Starting To Reconsider Abandoning Todd Akin?

With the deadline for him to drop out of the race fast approaching, and there being no indication that he’s going to drop out, some Republicans are starting to forgive Todd Akin:

Former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will appear with Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin at a joint news conference on Monday morning in Kirkwood, Mo.

Later, Gingrich, the colorful former House speaker, will attend a fundraiser for Akin in St. Louis, according to media reports.

The two Republicans have this in common: Former Gingrich aide Rick Tyler is now advising Akin’s embattled campaign.

The news conference is planned for 11:30 a.m. Monday at a train station in the St. Louis suburb.

Top Republicans have called on Akin to drop out of his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, believing that his remarks this summer doomed the GOP’s chances to win the seat. Akin told a local TV station that in cases of “legitimate rape,” female bodies have a way to prevent pregnancies.

Meanwhile, Jim DeMint is saying that he is reconsidering withdrawing financial support from Akin, and says other Republicans should do the same:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he will consider throwing his weighty financial support behind Rep. Todd Akin (R), the Missouri Senate candidate who has been shunned by party leaders in Washington.

DeMint said the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which has pulled its funding from the Missouri race, should reconsider its decision if Akin continues his candidacy.

The senator said backing Akin in Missouri, a red state, might be a better bet for winning a GOP seat than pouring money into blue states such as Maine and Hawaii that are likely to go for President Obama in November.

“I’m certainly looking at the race now. Todd’s a good conservative; he’s been a good representative for a long time. He did make a mistake and said it was a mistake,” DeMint said.

GOP leaders in Washington, as well as the party’s nominee, Mitt Romney, urged Akin to drop his Senate bid after he made controversial comments about “legitimate rape.” Akin apologized for the remarks but has refused to leave the race.

DeMint said if Akin stays in the Senate race past the state deadline for withdrawal, “I will certainly reconsider what I do.”

“I think we need to take every Republican candidate around the country and do what we can to elect them. He’s certainly within striking distance,” he said. “If the people of Missouri — if they’re going to throw him out because of one mistake, that’s tough.

“I’m going to look at the race and I would encourage [NRSC Chairman] John Cornyn [(R-Texas)] to look at all races where Republicans have a chance to win,” DeMint said. “We have some resources we can put in races, and we’re looking where else we want to invest.”

I can’t say I’m surprised to see Gingrich backing Akin, and DeMint considering it. Would the NRSC go so far as to backtrack on its own vow not to fund Akin any further, though? With control the Senate on the line, anything is possible I suppose.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. JoshB says:

    It’s not like he said something that was completely outside the party orthodoxy.

  2. Murray says:

    @JoshB: You beat me to that one :o)

  3. Rick Almeida says:

    There was never any doubt in my mind that Republicans would come home.

  4. ratufa says:
  5. Ed in NJ says:

    Well, consistent and principled are two words most would not associate with Republicans.

  6. stonetools says:

    I was hoping that Claire Macaskill would be able to put him away by kicking him when he was down with a barrage of ads featuring his craziness, but she didn’t have the requisite ruthlessness. If you give conservative voters a chance to forget how crazy their candidate is, they’ll forget every time .
    Once Akin regained his standing in the polls, it became as certain as yesterday’s sunrise that the national Republicans would return to the fold, given the stakes.

    Macaskill did well in the first debate, I hear, so there is still hope. But she’ll be running against a candidate with renewed national support, shortly.

    Will liberals never learn?

  7. Leave it to conservatives. They’ll dance with the devil if the devil puts out.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Others have said it …

    Akin’s beliefs concerning “legitimate rape” are well within Republican Prty norms.

    Welcome back Todd, you’re not still mad about this, are you?