The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
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Todd Akin endorsed by Santorum and DeMint

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint endorsed Missouri Rep. Todd Akin on Wednesday in his bid for the Senate against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

In a joint statement, the two senators said:

If Republicans are to win back the Senate and stop President Obama’s liberal agenda, we must defeat Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri. 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.

Todd Akin is a principled conservative who is committed to winning and fighting for freedom in the U.S. Senate. Todd will work to stop reckless spending, stop the out of control debt, repeal the government takeover of healthcare, support our military and defend life at every stage.

We support Todd Akin and hope freedom-loving Americans in Missouri and around the country will join us so we can save our country from fiscal collapse.

The endorsement comes one day after the final deadline for Akin to drop out of the race.

Santorum’s efforts to help Akin will include “mobilizing his grassroots supporters in Missouri and by making a PAC contribution,” said Virginia Davis, a spokeswoman for Santorum’s Patriot Voices PAC.

The PAC, she said, “will also use our call from home program to encourage folks to support Akin and we have hired staff for on-the-ground efforts in Missouri.”

The Senate seat was initially seen as a likely pick up for Republicans, but Akin’s poll numbers slumped after he said that he opposed abortion in cases of rape because “legitimate rape” victims rarely get pregnant.

Much of the Republican political establishment – including the National Republican Senatorial Committee – opted to sit out the race in reaction to that comment, making it difficult for Akin to raise money.

The endorsement indicates that some Republicans still believe the race is winnable. McCaskill has led in polls since the “legitimate rape” comment, but it is still a single-digit race.

The most recent polling — a Rasmussen poll from earlier this month — showed McCaskill up by six percentage points.

So far, Santorum and DeMint are among the few prominent Republicans to publicly support Akin. Akin also received the endorsement of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich this week, who predicted that more Republicans would back Akin as the election approaches.

DeMint’s PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund, sent out an email Tuesday, polling members about whether or not to endorse Akin.

The McCaskill campaign attributed DeMint’s endorsement to Akin announcing support for a ban on earmarks – one of DeMint’s favorite causes – though Akin had previously supported earmarks throughout his primary campaign.

“I am proud to have two of our country’s leading conservatives endorse me today,” Akin said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller. “Rick and Jim know that Claire has voted with President Obama 98 percent of the time, she was the deciding vote for Obamacare and has voted to increase our national debt by $6.9 trillion. Our country can’t afford another six years of the liberal agenda of Claire McCaskill.”

“You can tell these endorsements are enthusiastic just by the way these Republicans waited until they were stuck with Todd Akin to finally support him,” said McCaskill spokesman Erik Dorey. “But this predictable influx of ‘support’ from the extreme wing of the Republican party doesn’t change the fact that Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John Ashcroft, Roy Blunt, Tom Coburn, Ron Johnson, and droves of other Republicans didn’t support Todd Akin and asked him to step down.”

Blunt did in fact say he would work for Akin’s reelection, in a statement Tuesday that was careful not to sound like an endorsement.

“I’ll be working for the Republican ticket in Missouri, and that includes Todd Akin,” he said.

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