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.