KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI) - Well known conservative and former U. S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich brought his clout to the Todd Akin U.S. Senate campaign Monday.
Gingrich predicted the GOP national leaders would resume backing Akin by mid-October.
Akin is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (R) of Kirkwood. She went on the attack Monday with an internet ad charging Akin has flip flopped on his position on federal earmarks...a charge Akin's staff denies.
Akin, the GOP nominee for Senate in Missouri, lost national support this summer when he used the term "legitimate rape" and said he understood women's bodies could prevent pregnancy in the event of a "legitimate rape" during a taping of The Jaco Report on FOX 2 in St. Louis. That created a furor from both political parties.
The six term veteran congressman has since apologized multiple times. Major GOP fundraisers like the American Crossroads political action committee and the National Republican Senate Committee pulled their support leaving Akin to seek campaign dollars from grassroots supporters.
Gingrich headlined a $500 per person fund raising luncheon in Kirkwood and met with Republicans from St. Charles County in an effort to help Akin re-focus his campaign. "A lot of people said a lot of things in the first 48 hours," Gingrich said during a news conference. "My expectation would be that in the crunch in October Governor Romney is gonna be for the entire ticket and he's gonna for Todd Akin," the former presidential candidate said.
Gingrich pointed to support from the Missouri Farm Bureau as an indication rural Missouri is behind Akin and people in the state are angry national politicians are trying to tell them what to do.
Akin points to McCaskill's voting record charging she is too liberal for Missouri. Supporters for both candidates showed up carrying signs. During the news conference at the train station in Kirkwood, Akin supporters cheered and responded "No!" repeatedly when Gingrich asked them "Do you want to keep a firm vote for Obama and Obamacare in the Senate?"
When asked about the shortage of campaign dollars, Akin appeared hopeful they would raise what they needed. "The grassroots is extremely strong. We feel like the polling is going our way and if you take a look from an issues point of view Claire's voting record just doesn't fit Missouri. It's not even country mile close," Akin said.
He will begin a cross state bus tour Tuesday, the deadline for withdrawing from the November ballot. Akin insists he has no intention of dropping out of the race.
Senator McCaskill spent her day in political and fund raising meetings. Her spokesman said they had no events for the week to announce Monday.
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