The National Republican Senatorial Committee has repeatedly warned Rep. Todd Akin that the time has come to step aside — and that if he does not his campaign will be forced to continue without the financial backing of the committee. Around the same time, Karl Rove’s influential Super PAC American Crossroads also pulled their support from Akin. Even Mitt Romney has urged Akin to “accept the counsel” of his “fellow Missourians” and throw in the towel.
Akin continues to insist that he will stay in the race. “The good people of Missouri nominated me, and I’m not a quitter. And my belief is we’re going to take this thing forward. And by the grace of God we’re going to win this race,” Akin said on Mike Huckabee’s radio show yesterday.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee — the same people who pulled Akin’s funding — issued a statement yesterday that said, in part, that by not stepping aside, Akin is doing a favor for his opponent Senator Claire McCaskill. The statement said, “Senator McCaskill knows that the only way she wins re-election is if Todd Akin is her opponent in November.” And in interviews, Senator McCaskill has expressed sympathy for her opponent.
“I think what’s startling to me is that these party bigwigs are coming down on him and saying that he needs to kick sand in the face of the Republican primary voters,” she said yesterday in an interview with KTVI in St. Louis.
But the Republican leadership has made their position clear. At this point, what else can Republicans do?
Sarah Lenti is a Republican Strategist.