August 22nd, 2012
09:13 AM ET
6 years ago

Sources: Republicans prepare to 'grind it out' as Akin stays in

Washington (CNN) – Republicans are preparing to, in the words of one senior GOP source, “grind it out for a while” after embattled U.S. Rep. Todd Akin declared he was remaining in the race for U.S. Senate in Missouri despite calls from his party’s leadership to step aside.

Republican officials said Wednesday that they do not expect Akin to bow out of his race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in the next few days and aren’t sure if he’ll ever drop his bid. They are, however, monitoring a few crucial dynamics in the race that will play out in the days ahead.


First is Akin’s ability to raise enough money to sustain his campaign going forward. Party leaders, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have said they won’t provide Akin any campaign cash and his colleagues have canceled fundraisers scheduled for the coming weeks. Outside groups like the super PAC Crossroads GPS have also vowed not to spend any money to help Akin.

But the question remains whether there are enough grassroots activists angry at the party for bailing on Akin who are willing to give money to sustain his campaign. One Republican source said they worry he will be able to “raise money and keep it going for a while.”

Also up for debate is how much money Akin actually needs to remain competitive. The six-term congressman won the GOP primary in early August after being outspent, and has been outraised and outspent many times in his political career. Running on a shoe string is nothing new for him.


Republican Party officials are also watching to see what happens now that Akin is back in Missouri – specifically whether he feels isolated or supported in his home state. He spent the last few days at his campaign consultant’s office in Ohio, so his return home will be the first real chance to gauge his support on the ground.

GOP sources emphasize Akin is a devout evangelical Christian who believes God called on him to run. He has never had the support of the Republican Party establishment throughout his career and based on the safe margins of victory in re-election bids, he never really needed it. Thus, it doesn’t faze him now that the establishment, along with tea party groups and prominent conservative voices like Rush Limbaugh, are calling for him to get out of the way.

Republican officials also point out that Akin’s top advisers are his son and his wife, placing him in an insular environment where outside advice may not be heard. A senior GOP source concluded he “lives in a parallel universe.”

Damage to GOP

The question that remains, then, is how much Akin’s resistance to drop out will hurt the GOP.

Party officials say it hurts a lot. Republicans were relying on turning Missouri red in their bid to capture the U.S. Senate in November. Looking at the map, if they don’t win Senate seats in Montana, Wisconsin and North Dakota, and maintain hold of Massachusetts’ seat, it will be very hard to win the majority.

When it comes to Mitt Romney presidential hopes, GOP officials are upset that the furor over Akin’s comments amplifies the party platform adopted Tuesday calling for a constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. That’s not Romney’s position, thought it has been a platform plank for some time.

Republicans also bemoan the fact that the national discussion has turned to divisive social issues which could repel swing voters, and not on the economy which they say could attract them.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a co-chair of the Republican platform committee, said the party needed to better highlight women in leadership roles.

"We have some very articulate accomplished women who are elected officials at the local and state and the federal level, they have all shown the ability to lead and I think what people are wanting to do is to see women step forward and take a more prominent leadership role in our party," Blackburn said.

"They want to see how we're going to respond to this," she added.

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Filed under: Abortion • Missouri • Senate
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Blanks

    Akin no doubt made some erroneous and idiotic statements but I would vote for the Son of Sam before I voted for McCaskill.

    August 22, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Stinger

    The Republican party is like the Berlin wall.
    Its coming down brick by brick.

    August 22, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Malory Archer


    The truth is that we don't know how many voters favor Rep. Akin because they share the same scientific view, as I have been reading on Scientology and Abortion I have found similarities between Scientology practices, ideas, beliefs with those of Rep. Akin. The question is how many Scientologists would cast a vote for Rep. Akin given his ideas on rape and abortion that they seem to share from what I have been reading.


    Probably every Scientologist in MO would vote for him. Not sure what point you're trying to get across with your questioning, but if it has anything to do with a Dem vs. Rep. dynamic, living in the hotbed of Scientology and having two daughters who work for a Scientology-run business I can tell you from experience that Scientologists don't vote Democratic – EVER.

    August 22, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Let's face it, Paul Ryan is as bad as this guy because he supports this guy's position on abortion and on every GOT measure against womens liberation. And when it comes to the economy and fiscal leadership, Paul Ryan is worst than Akin and as bad as Romney. For example, Paul Ryan is now touring the country telling Americans that Presdient Obama has weakened our national security by slashing defense spending. However, first of all, Paul Ryan shouldn't talk about national security because he voted for the illegitimate invasion of Iraq, a war that has raised havoc on our deficit and he said nothing when the GOP criticize President Obama for ending this war as they argued that a withdrawal would send the wrong message to the enemy.

    Secondly, Paul Ryan was among 269 House members, including 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats who voted for the debt ceiling deal in August 2011, a compromise that resulted in $500 billion in automatic defense spending cuts. Now Paul Ryan is saying that he only voted on a bi-partisan process to reduce government spending while arguing that it was President Obama who insisted on defense cuts. That is bogus hypocrisy especially when this bill was passed with the support of 60% of House and Senate Republicans. let's face it, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are lacking in integrity, common decency and honesty as much as Todd Akins is. Hypocrisy is spreading in the teapublican party like a cancerous cell.

    August 22, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. ptny

    Deeper: H.R.3

    The "Forced, Legitimate, Assault Rape" inclusion in Paul Rayn's HR3 keeps sinking in deeper and deeper as time goes by.

    How can we ever trust this man, if elected, knowing his thoughts for a time were to envision different scenarios of women being raped and then making the determination in each case that most were not rape at all.

    I can hardly bear to hear Paul Ryan's name.

    August 22, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. chilly g

    Hello everybody, because of this guy akin comments i think claire will be relected and the democrafts chances of
    winning missouri has improve.

    August 22, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    This is Paul Ryan and Todd Akin's perception on rape: Rape is ok as long as the victim doesn't get pregnant. In other words, rape is ok as long as the rapist wears a condom or pulls out in the nick of time! Yes, these right wing socialists are very very scary.

    August 22, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. ST

    These republicans do not know what they are doing. Instead of dealing privately and out of public eyes with Akin, they opted to to show it to everyone that they are strong while they are not. This was a very big mistake which will cost them a chunk of votes, and they are going to regret for the rest of their lives of this reckless mistake , which they were not wise at all to tackle.

    August 22, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. TY

    Smoke Screen........more will be reveal. this is a game on the Rep., friends open your eyes this is truly the GOP agenda and Akins is part of the game. Ryan is the game.........OPEN YOUR EYES

    August 22, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. GaryB

    The fact is, Akin's position is the official GOP position, which by extension will be Romney's position (as we've seen, Romney is more of a follower than a leader). Keep in mind that the official GOP position (personhood begins at conception), would pave the road for outlawing the birth control pill (sometimes the pill may prohibit a fertilized egg from implanting, which the official Republican position equates with murder, even though fertilized eggs often don't implant for a number of reason), IUDs and of course the morning after pill. It puts government squarely in charge of our daughter's bodies, telling them that even if they are btutally raped, even if the resulting pregnancy puts their own lives at risk, they have to carry their rapist's fetus for nine months (and lets be clear, a fetus is not by any logical definition a baby), because that's what big, intrusive Republican government wants.

    And that's why I can't vote Republican any more.

    August 22, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. TAK

    I wonder how much money the RNC will slip Akin so he can continue his campaign? While they publically decry his statement, they deperately want to gain that Senate seat too.

    August 22, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. mompop404

    Can anyone tell me why the economy is not considered a social issue?

    August 22, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. myviewis

    Malory Archer
    Probably every Scientologist in MO would vote for him

    Thanks for the information. By the way, I never wrote that John Kerry was a member of the Forbes magazine family. I wrote he is a member of the Forbes family which is very influential such as his cousing Brice Lalonde who ran for president in 1981 in France and Kerry vacations in his family estates, Les Essarts in France, etc..... and he did inherit 4 Trusts from the Forbes family. They are very wealthy, influential people.

    August 22, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. dog1

    Perhaps some of the supporters of Ryan's HR-3 are quietly creating a legal defense for themselves?????????
    Is it possible there's something that's going to come out of Ryan's closet?

    August 22, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota


    I wonder how much money the RNC will slip Akin so he can continue his campaign? While they publically decry his statement, they deperately want to gain that Senate seat too.

    Rove and Romney have it covered. Cry foul publicly and slip it under the table privately. Akin hasn't said anything which hasn't already been voted on in Republican controlled House of Representatives, including the "forcible" rape charge. The wording might have been "off", but the mindset is still intact.

    As it is we have no idea where the Super PAC money comes from to support the Republican ticket any more anyway.

    August 22, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Steve

    It will be interesting to see where Aiken's outside campaign money will come from.

    August 22, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Dumbpolitics

    Wow I can't wait till the GOP takes over. The first law I want is one to protect a man's club. Mine got stolen. I only used it a couple of times. I want the guy who stole it to pay. How am I going to get a woman in my cave.

    August 22, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    The republican party is more concern about taking control of the U.S. Senate than the issue. Another thing how can you have Mitt Romney presidential hopeful don,t support the Republican Party ticket the party platform that adopted Tuesday calling for a constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. WOW

    August 22, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Raylene M

    Todd Akins views are no different than Rommy, Ryan and the rest of the GOP thats voted time and again against abortion.

    August 22, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    It is far easier to forgive Akin for his misstatement than to forgive McCaskill for her blind support of the Obama agenda, especially Obamacare. People of Missouri, if you want Obamacare repealed you MUST vote for Akin. The rest of the country is counting on you. GET RID OF MCCASKILL!

    August 22, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Look like the republican party is more concern about taking control of the U.S. Senate than the ISSUE. Another thing how can the republican have a presidential hopeful like Mitt Romney that don't surport the party ticket the party platform adopted Tuesday calling for a constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. That’s not Romney’s position, thought it has been a platform plank for some time. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Obama

    August 22, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In that a right wingnut said they would vote for son of sam over mccaskill, says it all about the current GOP.

    August 22, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    When the Tea Party came onto the political scene a few years ago, they argued that they were for less government intrusion into our lives. However, when Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker conspired to deprive workers of their collective bargaining rights, the Tea Party were at the forefront lending their support to the Governor. Less government? No, that is Hypocrisy. Now the Tea Party are at it once again, intruding into the lives of women. Then how is that less government? Bogus hypocrisy! let's vote the socialist Tea Party and the GOP out of office for good!

    August 22, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. rs

    8.3% unemployment – Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated-

    What about Mr. Ryan's lock-step support of Mr. Bush? Two unfunded tax cuts paired with two unfunded wars (a first in American history BTW), the Bush Medicare debacle, the stimulus, and oh, yeah, that little economic unpleasantness in 2008?

    August 22, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. MaryM

    President Obama proposed a "grand bargain" with Boehner in agreement, with 4T in cuts and a balanced approach. Everyone pays their fair share and everyone feels the pain. But Republicans walked away from the table.
    Republicans want him to fail. They walked away from the table because that deal would have made Obama look good, regardless that it would have helped the country. IT's not about helping the country with the repubs. It's all about trying to make President Obama a one term President, Vote these teapublicans out of office asap.

    August 22, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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