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MO: GOP jumping back on Akin bandwagon

By   /   September 27, 2012  /   6 Comments

By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog

Todd Akin’s gaining support following the Senate drop-out deadline. (Photo KOMU)

ST. LOUIS — Now that Todd Akin’s staying in the U.S. Senate race, some in the Republican Party are giving the Republican candidate a figurative slap on the back rather than a kick in the behind.

Rob Jesmer, director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a political action committee focused on electing GOP members to the Senate, called Akin “a far more preferable candidate than liberal Sen. Claire McCaskill.”

Jesmer’s new stance is quite the opposite of where he stood last month at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. There, he said Akin was “not a suitable candidate for office right now … There’s not one poll that suggests he can win,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Despite his renewed support for Akin, Jesmer stopped short of pledging much-needed funding to Akin’s campaign.

NRSC certainly has financial firepower. This super PAC has raised $81 million for the 2012 election cycle and spent just $52 million of it, the latest Federal Election Commission reports show.

Akin got the collective cold shoulder from the Republican Party after his controversial comments about rape and pregnancy drew the ire of the nation. Many in the GOP, feeling that Akin could not defeat McCaskill after his misstep, asked him to withdraw from the race. This included not only top Republicans in Missouri, but presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, one of those vocal critics, pledged his support for Akin this week. So did David Cole, chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. He privately pushed Akin to leave the race, but now says he will help the current U.S. representative of District 2in his election bid.

COLE: Akin has the Missouri Republican Party’s support.

“Just like all of our GOP candidates elected in the August primary, the Missouri Republican Party stands behind Congressman Todd Akin in his race for United State Senate,” Cole said in a statement.

Former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, who served the Show Me State on Capitol Hill from 1976 to 1995, was one of Akin’s most vocal critics then and remains so now.

After attending a fundraising event for GOP Missouri attorney general candidate Ed Martin on Wednesday, Danforth told reporters he would not support Akin.

“The problem with Akin is he taints the party,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was also in the state Wednesday, touring Monsanto’s headquarters and holding a fundraising event for his 2014 campaign in St. Louis.

He did not, however, throw any support behind Akin during the trip.

Democratswasted no time in criticizing the flip-floppers.

MURRAY: Support of Akin will hurt the GOP nationally.

Washington U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, who leads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Republican candidates will “have to answer for their party’s support of Akin.”

“Their decision to support Akin should leave zero doubt in anyone’s mind that the Republican Party and the candidates they support are downright dangerous for women,” Murray said in a statement.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared at a fundraiser Monday for Akin. Akin also received the endorsement of former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and South Carolina U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, who has promised financial support for Akin through his super PAC Senate Conservatives Fund.

That promise has led the Missouri Democratic Party to file complaint with the FEC, after Akin’s campaign told the National Journal on Friday he agreed to a ban on earmarks supported by DeMint although he has long opposed such a move.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Mike Sanders called shenanigans on the seemingly tit-for-tat deal.

“As an elected member of Congress, Todd Akin should hold himself to a higher standard of conduct,” he said. “This latest episode of Todd Akin’s typical Washington behavior is just beyond the pale, and Missourians deserve better.”

Akin defended the use of earmarks during a GOP debate in Branson in January.

“There are some that want to get so radical using the flag-waving term earmark that they’re going to give away the first article of the Constitution to the executives and the bureaucrats,” he said. “For political favor, I’m not going to give up the U.S. Constitution.”

Contact Johnny Kampis at johnny@missouriwatchdog.org.  For more Missouri Watchdog updates, visit Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for a free newsletter.

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Johnny Kampis is a content editor at Watchdog.org, and is helping to start the organization’s Alabama Watchdog bureau in his home state. Johnny previously worked in the newspaper industry and as a freelance writer, and has been published in The New York Times, Time.com and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1607123713 Kay Turner

    It’s about time! Some of us voting Missourians have been defending him and trying to rally support since this started and you all threw him under the bus. We have a senate race to win and it’s time you all get on board and help put a conservative in the senate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.kirchem Ronald Kirchem

    So Kay, do you think your friend Akin considers you “ladylike”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1607123713 Kay Turner

    Yes Sir, I’m sure he would.

  • SAYNOTOAKIN

    This is embarrassing for the GOP and will affect the Presidential election. I am a Missouri voter and will not vote for Akin. I do not vote based on social issues, but his “interview” was just too revealing and does not deserve my vote. This will come back up in the Presidential race and it will have a negative effect – that we cannot afford. I am a very disappointed fiscal conservative.

  • Doc

    Winning a senate race isn’t the goal. Electing an intelligent and responsible person who will represent the overall population is what we all need – nation wide. This nonsense of “my (extreme conservative) way or the highway” is killing our government and the party. Akin has shown himself to be totally out of touch with science and contemporary social skills and thinking, and for me he is an enormous embarrassment for the Republican Party and the State of Missouri. I cannot support this person, and I will vote against his candidacy. I feel as though I no longer have a party pertinent to my non-liberal, but more centrist thought.

  • KC Resident

    Im voting Libertarian! Jonathan Dine is The only candidate who wants to balance the budget, end the wars and restore your freedom. He did a much better job answering the questions in the debate than republican or democrat candidates. Im tired of the same old negative politics and will vote for a real change this Nov.

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