A handful -- like fewer than 10 -- supporters are here in the Philadelphia Room in a building that houses the Missouri Eagle Forum. One is Lucy McMillion, 62, who said she left dinner meat thawing in her kitchen and raced over to the press conference when she heard about it on TV.

She said she was "angry" at party officials for pressuring Rep. Todd Akin to step down as Republican Senate candidate.

"How dare they tell us he's not our candidate," she said, calling Akin a "good Christian man who will hold up our values." She blamed the negative attention on a liberal press that "wants chaos" to distract the nation from the election issue of jobs and the economy.