Republicans pull money from Missouri

August 20, 2012

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) has informed Rep. Todd Akin that the national GOP will not spend money to help elect him to the Senate in the aftermath of Akin's controversial comments about "legitimate rape," according to an NRSC aide.

Cornyn also told Akin that, by staying in the race, he is endangering Republicans' hopes of retaking the majority in the Senate, the aide said.

It's the second example Tuesday of Republicans pulling money from the race. The GOP outside group American Crossroads and its affiliated nonprofit Crossroads GPS have also canceled a scheduled buy this week on Akin's behalf. (That news was first reported by Politico and confirmed to The Fix.)

Akin said in an interview on Mike Huckabee's radio show about 1 p.m. eastern that he will stay in the race.

“I’m not a quitter. My belief is we’re going to move this thing forward,” he said. “To quote my friend John Paul Jones, I’ve not yet begun to fight.”

Cornyn said in a statement released after Akin's interview: "I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 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."

The NRSC and Crossroads were primed to spend more money on Akin's race than the candidate himself was likely to spend.

The NRSC has reserved $5 million worth of time in Missouri, and Crossroads has spent more than $5 million this cycle.

The lack of funding from outside groups would severely hamper Akin, who has not been able to raise much money early in the campaign.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | August 20, 2012