Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Endorses Todd Akin

Posted: Updated:
Rick Santorum  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rick Santorum (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) won two more socially conservative backers for his senatorial bid on Wednesday when former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced their endorsements.

"If Republicans are to win back the Senate and stop President Obama's liberal agenda, we must defeat Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri," they wrote in a joint statement, referring to the current Democratic senator. "Her support of President Obama's job-killing, big-spending policies are sending our country into an economic abyss. And her passionate support of ObamaCare is ensuring healthcare costs go up while quality of care goes down. Simply put, we cannot afford six more years of Senator McCaskill."

Akin came under fire last month for saying women can shut down their bodies against pregnancy in instances of "legitimate rape," leading the Republican National Committee and presidential nominee Mitt Romney to call for him to drop out of the race.

Lately, though, more conservatives have come out to support Akin. Akin's last day to leave the race was Tuesday, and he didn't -- meaning he is the only real possibility for voters who hope to oust McCaskill.

Santorum is a vocal opponent of abortion rights and made the issue central to his campaign, while DeMint has attempted to add anti-abortion measures to unrelated bills in the Senate.

DeMint said last week he was considering throwing support -- and money -- behind Akin.

Another former presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, is also supporting Akin and campaigned with him Monday.

Missouri Republicans also are showing their support for Akin this week. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and state GOP Chairman David Cole said they will back his candidacy.

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m. -- Yet another former presidential candidate added his name to Akin's supporters, according to ABC's Michael Falcone. “Of course Gov. Perry supports Todd Akin," he said, quoting Catherine Frazier, Rick Perry's spokeswoman.

UPDATE: 4:35 p.m. -- The Missouri Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint Wednesday claiming Akin coordinated with a super PAC in exchange for funding, which would be a violation of finance rules.

St. Louis Public Radio reports Akin said last week he supported banning earmarks, even though he has previously supported them, and now may receive financial help from a super PAC founded by anti-earmark Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). He said his campaign had discussed issues with the group and that "the conversation has been going on" about financial support.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Mike Sanders alleged that change in position was because of "bribery."

"When you look at the conduct of Mr. Akin: a firmly held position immediately after the conversation occurs that he will receive campaign cash in lieu of his change of position, he immediately changed that position," he said.

UPDATE: 4:25 p.m. -- The National Republican Senatorial Committee hinted on Wednesday that it might get behind Akin, even though a month ago it vowed not to fund his campaign.

Executive Director Rob Jesmer said Wednesday, "there is no question" Akin is preferable to McCaskill, according to the Washington Post.

"As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November, and we will continue to monitor this race closely in the days ahead," Jesmer said.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, said Republicans returning to support Akin showed he "actually presents the party's mainstream.

"No one should've been fooled by the party's faux outrage and their ensuing change of course because as the Republican establishment is making clear today, the Akin backlash was never about principle, it was purely about politics," spokeswoman Shripal Shah said in a statement.

CORRECTION: 1:25 p.m. -- The final paragraph has been corrected to reflect that the men mentioned are from Missouri, not Mississippi.

Also on The Huffington Post

2012 Senate Race Polls
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Some Conservatives Lend Support to Akin As Dropout Deadline Passes

Rick Santorum: Akin "good man" who made "ridiculous" comment

DeMint might throw Akin a lifeline

Clout: Did Pa. GOP Senate hopeful join Todd Akin club?

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote