With the deadline for Rep. Todd Akin to withdraw from the Missouri Senate race passed, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which withdrew its support for Akin, seems to be dipping its toe back in the water.
“There is no question that for Missourians who believe we need to stop the reckless Washington spending, rein-in the role of government in people’s lives, and finally focus on growing jobs in this country, that Todd Akin is a far more preferable candidate than liberal Sen. Claire McCaskill,” NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer said in a statement.
“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,” said Jesmer.
The statement doesn’t say that the group is preparing to put money or resources behind Akin’s bid, and seems to carefully express support for Akin only because the alternative is McCaskill, a Democrat.
In August, national Republicans tried in vain to convince Akin to withdraw from the race after he said he opposes legal access to abortion for rape victims because women who suffer “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant.
“Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” NRSC Chairman John Cornyn said at the time. “I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next twenty-four hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.”
When Akin refused to withdraw, the group pulled its resources from the state.
In the nearly 24 hours since the deadline passed for Akin to withdraw, he has recieved endorsements from South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. On Monday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed him. Other Republicans, like Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, issued tacit statements of support.