Washington (CNN) – Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin is trying to turn controversy he created about rape and women on its head – making a direct appeal to conservative women in a new television ad featuring a woman who says she was raped and had an abortion.
"I'm a single mother – a woman who's had an abortion. I've been raped in my past," says the woman who says her name is Kelly.
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Though she doesn't say she regrets having an abortion in the ad, it is implied. She makes it clear she now thinks her abortion was a mistake in a longer companion video on Akin's website.
"The reason that I'm voting for Todd and that I'm so proud of him is because he defends the unborn. He's a kind man, a compassionate man. He has so much integrity," says Kelly.
She does not say that her aborted pregnancy was a result of rape, and a campaign spokesman said he is unsure.
Akin created major controversy and infuriated national Republicans when he suggested that a woman's body could somehow block a pregnancy resulting from rape. He later tried to clarify the way he phrased that, but stands by his position that abortion should be banned, even in the case of rape.
The ad also features another woman named Zoya who offers a broader testimonial, saying she emigrated from Russia when she was young, and she has gotten to know the Akin family and supports him.
Akin's Democratic rival, Sen. Claire McCaskill, also began airing a television ad Thursday suggesting Akin was "unfit" to serve in the U.S. Senate, featuring a clip of Mitt Romney denouncing Akin's rape comments and a news report about Akin not attending the Republican National Convention in August.
Meanwhile, this new television ad is one of several Akin's campaign is airing in this final week with the help of an infusion of mystery money – funds from the Missouri state party which may have originated from National Republicans, who had vowed not to put a dime into the race when they were trying to force Akin to step aside.
The Missouri Republican Party joined in a $387,000 ad buy with the Akin campaign. It is unclear where the state party got its money, and aides to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) told CNN they will not comment on whether it came from them.
Calls to the Missouri Republican Party were not returned, and Akin adviser Rick Tyler told CNN state party officials would not tell him where the funds originated.
After Akin refused to get out of the race, NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer opened the door to giving Akin money, despite saying earlier it would not happen.
Now more than ever, Republicans may need to snatch this Democratic seat in order to retake the majority in the Senate, since prospects of GOP pick ups elsewhere in the country are more up in the air than Republicans had anticipated earlier this year.
GOP sources say they think they will likely lose Scott Brown's seat in Massachusetts. They also believe Maine's GOP seat now held by retiring Olympia Snowe will be won by independent Angus King.
All in all, that would mean Republicans would have to pick up six Democratic seats to have a clear 51 seat majority – and their options would be even more limited without Akin winning in Missouri.
Republicans are playing offense trying to turn Senate seats like Montana, North Dakota, Virginia, Ohio and Connecticut red. But several of those races are neck-and-neck and hardly in the bag for the GOP. The problem for Republicans is they're are now playing defense in a growing number of competitive open GOP seats, like Indiana and Arizona
Although public polls in Missouri show Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill ahead – some show Akin nipping at McCaskill's heels.
A new Mason Dixon poll of likely Missouri voters had McCaskill at 45%, Akin at 43%, and 8% unsure.
Missouri is a conservative state, especially on social issues like abortion, and Republicans there are hoping those undecided voters will break for Akin.
The National GOP that shunned Akin and tried to push him to step aside won't say whether they are now giving him 11th hour financial help, but he does have a lot more cash than ever before to close out the race.
Tyler tells CNN there is about $1.7 million in Missouri for Akin, if you combine the campaign's $300,000, money from the state party, and donations from a smattering of outside groups like the Family Research Council, which stood by Akin through the controversy.
It's a good thing she had a choice.
So Akin thinks abortion is murder...so in his mind he thinks putting a murderer on TV supporting him will help. Shouldn't he be shaming her and trying to get her arrested? I'm so confused by his logic... just repulsive.
So, he's got a woman who enjoyed her rape but didn't stay to get her gift from God, and that's going to get him votes? God help us all if it does. Why is this clown even still in the race?
Astonishing that ANYONE supports Tood Akin after his astonishing remark which revealed someone who is evidently completely oblivious to junior high school biology.
Republicans focus too much on women when they should focus on crimes against women, children, elderly, etc. Women aren't creating the majority of crimes and creating havoc upon others, it's men. So why are they protecting the interest of men and demonizing women. You haven't heard one Republican say "Men should do this or Men should do that", why is that?
Oh Good God! Is this guy for real. Now he has probably inspiring actress lying to win an election. Akin is a clown!
Akin is a stupid, old, perverted fool. No women (or men) with just a minimum of intelligence will ever vote for him.
Well done GOP. You lose again.
Akin is Shameless and needs to be voted OUT! He is filled with so much hate.
Akin will will still beat Obamaclaire. If they want Obamacare repealed, it is the only alternative.
Akin is toast on November 6. End of story.
"You haven't heard one Republican say "Men should do this or Men should do that", why is that?" Men tell them to shut up unless they want a fat lip. Women just eat it all up and say "tee-hee, gosh."
His wholly unscientific comment is a double shame since he is on the congressional Science & Technology committee. The new ad is repulsive exploitation of a woman he'd consider a criminal. The mystery donor(s) are so proud of their reconsideration to contribute, they won't comment about it. LAME! Hope he gets buried in the election.
It's the NRSC's money. Bank on it. They refuse to even answer the question when posed by other media outlets. This ad and "secret money" gambit just shows that they are desperate over the Senate races and recognize that they're not at all likely to take the Senate as they had hoped...despite the HUGE differential in how many Dems are defending seats versus how many GOPers are defending seats.
"Why is this clown even still in the race?"
Answer: The GOP has ZERO respect for women and minorities. I have absolutely ZERO qualms about telling that truth.
So this woman wants people like Todd Akin making her mind up since she is too stupid to do so herself. She made a decision and now thinks it was wrong so no one should be able to make a decision and just allow the well learned and wise Todd Akin to use his judgment. It is a said day when a woman whats someone else to make her decisions rather than have the responsiblility to make it herself.
Was her abortion even related to the rape because that is the issues? Her words never established that point.
The bigger point here is the idea of who should make these decisions. The individual or the government? Her choices shouldn't be forced on everyone.
So your rape was a legitimate rape........good for you.
Oh Dear Spirits. Todd Akin ins such a creep. Hard core Conservative women can have him. The rest of us, if we were still wearing street-length skirts, would pull them out of the way when he walked by. Disgusting little maggot of a man.
America is full of hatred groups they move about in disguise, as christians, prolife, the llist is huge, the same people will not give you a drink of water
We have laws to reasonably regulate abortion. Hopefully, people a sick of hearing radicals like Akin open his pie hole about private issues best discussed between a woman and her doctor. it's time for rational people to vote these political weasels out! Let's get some elected officials in office who can focus on something beyond abortion. We have a country to run and Republicans only devote their energies on pandering to the radical right-wing. Even the few jobs bills they prepared were loaded with toxic "personhood" riders – killing the chance of getting help in creating jobs before the bill was even debated. Enough!
I cannot believe, for the life of me, that any woman would defend this man let alone vote for him. I cannot believe any woman, especially with daughters, would vote for Mr. Akin.
If Mitt wins, this is going to be the kind of 'science' they teach your kids. I'm going to buy a rifle tonight.
It's the NRSC's money. Bank on it. They refuse to even answer the question when posed by other media outlets.
Ding ding ding. Once again proving that they can't and shouldn't be trusted on their word. They promised they would distance themselves from Akin, well here we are a few days away from the election and they are pouring money on that disgusting old fool Akin. The GOP is a dangerous untrustworthy party.
I guess atkins is saying its ok to rape concervative woman ????? Thanks atkins you gop bafoon ,the bottom of the gop barrel of trash . Sighed a conserative woman and the 47% !!!!
These TEA party extremists ideology is similar to the dangerous extremists in other parts of the world. They endanger individuals' rights. It is frightening that these people would get the attention they are getting and go on to become legislators. You would expect these people to rise in countries where people have no access to information other than propaganda.
She *chose* to have an abortion. Now she wants to take away others' right to *choose* and she wants to let the government make decisions on behalf of familys and woman who've been raped.
Only in right-wing la-la land does this make any sense.