Cornyn on Missouri: ‘This is not a winnable race’

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Sen. John Cornyn, Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Thursday that the group did not plan to get involved in the Missouri Senate race to help Republican Congressman Todd Akin.

The NRSC pulled its funding for Akin in August after the congressman said in a television interview that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely become pregnant, setting off a firestorm.

“We have no plans to do so,” Cornyn told Kentucky’s Courier-Journal, when asked Thursday if the Committee intended to expend resources on the race.

“I just think that this is not a winnable race,” he went on. “We have to make tough calculations based on limited resources and where to allocate it, where it will have the best likelihood of electing a Republican senator.”

The NRSC had seemed to open the door to possibly getting involved earlier this week, when executive director Rob Jesmer said in a statement: “As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee jumped on the statement, interpreting it as a statement of support.

“The statement by national Republicans in support of Todd Akin is absolutely shameful,” said DSCC Chair Patty Murphy. “All Republican candidates across the country are now going to have to answer for their party’s support of Akin.”

The DSCC has since attacked Republican Senate candidates running in bluer states, like Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Connecticut Senate hopeful Linda McMahon for their association with the committee and by the transitive property, Akin.

“There should be no doubt that a vote for Scott Brown is also a vote for an anti-woman party that supports extremists like Todd Akin,” said DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil in a statement Thursday.

“Todd Akin’s views represent the official position of the Republican Party, and a vote for Brown is a vote to inflict that anti-woman agenda on the entire country,” he added. “Brown’s silence speaks volumes. Brown should immediately demand his money back [from the NRSC] and renounce the party’s decision to embrace Todd Akin.”

Cornyn’s statement could serve to tamp down that line of attack.

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