Kirsten Andersen

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Todd Akin retakes lead in Missouri senate race, gains PAC support from Rand Paul

Kirsten Andersen
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 18, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new poll shows Republican Todd Akin retaking a narrow lead over incumbent Claire McCaskill in the Missouri U.S. Senate race, despite the national GOP’s refusal to support his candidacy.

The six-term Congressman leads Democrat Claire McCaskill 49 percent to 45 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Citizens United Victory Fund.

Akin lost financial backing from the Republican Party and the Crossroads GPS superPAC headed by Karl Rove after suggesting that a woman’s body can prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape,” a remark for which he has repeatedly apologized. The national media frenzy following his remarks helped his opponent to raise record-breaking amounts of campaign cash.

Fortunately for Akin, help has arrived in the form of a six-figure ad buy by RandPAC, Senator Rand Paul’s political action committee.

The television ad, which began airing throughout Missouri on Wednesday, slams Claire McCaskill for opposing legislation that would bar foreign aid to countries that harbor anti-American terrorist groups. It is similar to ads RandPAC has been running in other key states where senators have opposed such cuts. 

Senator Paul has been aggressive in calling for a cutoff of funds to countries like Egypt, Pakistan, and Libya in the wake of violent protests and attacks in those countries.

Some of the incidents have resulted in injuries and deaths of Americans, most notably the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, who was brutally murdered along with members of his staff in Benghazi on September 11. 

Paul’s chief of staff, Doug Stafford, told LifeSiteNews.com that the Missouri Senate race is about much more than Todd Akin.

The RandPAC ad never actually mentions the congressman, whom Senator Paul has not formally endorsed.. It’s really an anti-McCaskill ad.

Paul has, however, forgiven Akin for his August blunder.  According to Stafford, Rand “accepts that Congressman Akin apologized for what he said and made a mistake. One or two mistaken sentences or thoughts doesn’t change the fact that there are dozens of issues which Claire McCaskill is truly bad on, and on which Todd Akin would be a significant improvement.”

By running the ad now, RandPAC hopes not only to boost Akin’s chances of ousting McCaskill but to inject the foreign aid issue into the national debate. 

“McCaskill says that only 10 percent of senators support these cuts and 90 percent oppose them,” said Stafford, “but if you ask just about any other group of Americans about the issue, those numbers are reversed. It’s time we started talking about this more.”

Asked about Akin’s chances for a win in November—which could give Republicans a majority in the U.S. Senate—Stafford was optimistic. “It looks like it’s definitely a competitive race,” he said. Although Republican Chairman Reince Priebus previously vowed, “We’re not going to send [Akin] a penny,” Mr. Stafford expressed cautious optimism about the candidate’s chances of receiving critical financial aid from the GOP as the election grows nearer and the race remains tight.

“I don’t know that they’re closing that door all the way yet,” Stafford said. “I think they owe it to their donors, to the candidate, and to the very idea of a Republican Senate majority to do what they can [for Akin],” he said.

He added that RandPAC will do whatever it can to help Akin win. “Claire McCaskill has to go,” he said. “That’s the important thing. She’s just too bad on too many issues.”

One of the issues where Stafford believes Senator McCaskill is failing is on the protection of human life. McCaskill has voted to expand federal funding of embryo-destroying stem cell research, and to allow minors to cross state lines for abortions. She has also repeatedly voted in favor of additional federal funding for abortions in the U.S. and overseas.  

Todd Akin was once arrested for participating in a peaceful protest outside an abortion clinic. As a congressman, he has regularly earned a 100 percent pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee, while scoring zero with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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