GOP campaign arm bails on Akin's Senate bid, source says
August 20th, 2012
02:35 PM ET
2 years ago

GOP campaign arm bails on Akin's Senate bid, source says

(CNN) - The National Republican Senatorial Committee will no longer support Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri in his U.S. Senate bid, a source from the group told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash on Monday.

It was communicated to the congressman that the NRSC will be pulling out if he decides to stay in the race, the source said one day after the Senate candidate sparked a firestorm by claiming that "legitimate rape" rarely resulted in pregnancy.

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Multiple Republicans have distanced themselves from Akin since he originally made the comment, and Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts called on him to step down from his position as GOP nominee.

Akin apologized for the comment Monday, saying he misspoke.

"I made that statement in error. Let me be clear. Rape is never legitimate. It's an evil act, and it's committed by violent predators," Akin said on Mike Huckabee's radio show. "I used the wrong words in the wrong way. What I said was ill conceived and it was wrong."

The NRSC said it currently has $5 million reserved to back the Republican candidate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Republicans have pointed to the seat this year as a possible pick-up for the GOP as the party tries to retake the Senate majority.

Following Akin's comments, however, a source from the NRSC said that if Akin remained in the race, it "could put the majority at risk."

In a statement earlier Monday, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas–who also chairs the NRSC–suggested the congressman "carefully consider" his next step.

"Congressman Akin's statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible," Cornyn said in a statement. "I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next twenty-four hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service."

In an interview with WMUR Monday, Mitt Romney echoed Cornyn's sentiments, according to a tweet from the station's political director, Josh McElveen:

"@MittRomney on if Akin should end senate bid- 'he should spend 24 hours considering what will best help the country at this critical time.'"

Akin has long been known for his social conservative values. The congressman captured a win in Missouri's three-way Senate primary earlier this month, beating out businessman John Brunner and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman despite falling behind in the polls just days before the contest.

On Huckabee's radio show Monday, Akin said he had not been specifically told to exit the race.

"No one has called me and said, 'I think you should drop out.' No one has said that. I gather people are saying that in the media, but they didn't specifically call me and tell me that," Akin said.

– CNN's Dana Bash, Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • John Cornyn • Missouri • NRSC • Senate
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    I guess it is election year. Please make sure all your parties in the GOP are sane and speak with etiquette. Oops, my bad, they don't speak that way.

    August 20, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    NRSC, he walked back his comments. Don't pull your support now. You only had that fake moderate Sen. Scott Brown call for the guys resignation. I haven't heard Boehner, McConnell or Rush denounce him yet.

    August 20, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Darn it all. I had so been hoping he'd try to weather this based on support from the relious whackadoos and rabid misogynists like Perkins, et al. Practically speaking, last nail in the coffin. Oh Akins, we hardly knew ye...but what we did know made us nauseous.

    August 20, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Rico Sauve

    Like rats on a sinking ship!

    August 20, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Bill

    I hope that loser Tony Perkins of the FRC is reading this. Nice to see someone on Capitol Hill has some measure of decency and common sense concerning this matter. Clearly Perkins does not.

    August 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. BlkPwr817

    I wonder who else the GOP will bail on when so many of them agree w/ Akin's stance on this subject.

    August 20, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Mikey

    Akin can do something for women and stay in the race and endorse the reelection of Claire McCaskill.

    August 20, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. ghostriter

    Whether he steps down or not, Ryan is tied to this guy. So either way, it goes bad for Ryan.

    The more that comes out about these republicans, the more I'm glad I'm not one of 'em.

    August 20, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Nikw

    He should pull out of the canpaign. Only Democrats are allowed to make insensative statements.

    August 20, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Jim Hahn

    Senator Cornyn said "Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party..." This translates to: Get out of the race before you ruin our chances".

    August 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. California Gary

    Gee, does this mean the GOP will be pulling the funding for the Romney ticket as well? Romney and Ryan have both signed on to the "no exception" thing, as well as the "no contraception" thing. Although I do sense a flip flop is on the horizon.

    August 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. demwit

    Akin needs to go, Biden's racists remarks are what we expect from Gaffe Biden Duck and therefore gets a pass..

    August 20, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Bill

    @ghostriter

    Good point. There was a picture in the Washington Post today of Ryan and Akin together (from last year) when Ryan rolled out his Path to Nowhere.

    August 20, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Pete

    He apologized but is still firm on his thinking about a women's body being able to repair itself after being raped,is this guy insane or is he just trying to tick off women more than your womenizing republicans already have done,if he did the latter,he did good on getting his pink slip this November and now can you say Bidens chains!!!

    August 20, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Well, before you go, Akins, I just want to thank you for giving us such a wonderful way to seque into talking about Ryan's views on women's rights, autonomy, reproductive freedom, etc., seeing as how you and Ryan co-sponsored the legislation that tried to insert the language about "FORCIBLE rape" regarding Medicaid funding. Stay classy!

    August 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Dewsterling

    Akin is being asked to leave the race, essentially ceding the seat to McCaskill. Yet, Paul Ryan, Akin's co-sponsor and an anti-abortion extremist is the vice-presidential nominee?

    August 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    "@MittRomney on if Akin should end senate bid- 'he should spend 24 hours considering what will best help the country at this critical time.'"
    ------------------------------------------------
    Willard, you said you will end Planned Parenthood and that you're against abortion in all cases as well. Are you sure you want to add your two cents? You should be more concerned about releasing your taxes.

    August 20, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Glenn Rice

    Why should he get out? He is just saying what he and most of the republican party believe. Let the voters decide.

    August 20, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The unhinged GOBP tea potty are shakin in their boots worrying about losing Congress because they know that Mitt the twit doesn't stand a chance.

    August 20, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Mikey

    While it is good that this troglodyte is now unlikely to be elected to the Senate, I am more worried that someone who co-sponsored the bill Akin was defending when he made the comments could be put one heartbeat away from the presidency. Paul Ryan is simply too extreme for America.

    August 20, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Amused

    Heck no! Keep him in the race! Let's find out who votes for the guy! Let's find out who thinks he's right! The tea party's going to have a field day of conspiracy theories if he drops out, so let's just shine a light on him.

    August 20, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. American People

    The GOP plan for the American People: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military.

    August 20, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Indy

    Yet McConnell and Boehner set out to destroy the entire country by taking down the President and stagnating the economy by blocking everything good, and they are still walking amongst us

    August 20, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Why should he get out?'

    Believe me...the GOP/Teatrolls want him out ASAP not because they disagree with him, but because of his connections with Ryan and the legislation they pushed together. He's just opened the door wide to that issue and the longer he stays in the race and in the spotlight as the posterboy for this issue, the more thoroughly Dems/liberals will be able to tie Ryan to it. He's gotta go, gotta go now or they're not going to like the ads in the next couple days/weeks.

    August 20, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. ghostriter

    Maybe instead of deciding what's best for him, his family and the republican party, he should decide what's best for his state and the country.

    August 20, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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