After GOP senate candidate Todd Akin misspoke about abortion and rape days after winning the Missouri primary, the Republican National Committee and other top GOP officials vowed to withhold endorsements and money when he refused to withdraw. Now the dry well is starting to run again as the Missouri Republican Party is paying for an ad campaign in hopes of pushing Akin over the top.
The Missouri GOP has put $386,000 into a $700,000 ad buy in the final days of the campaign. In a story that ran in Politico this morning, they were unable to verify from the National Republican Senatorial Committee if any of the funds used by the state party originated with them. However, federal election law mandates that only national committees or individual campaign committees are able to pay for a coordinated ad buy.
Additionally, Akin will benefit from the spending of others conservative PACs and committees such as a SuperPAC associated with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that is kicking in a "six-figure ad buy," as well as PACs set up on behalf of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Immediately after Akin's mid-August blunder, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who chairs the NRSC, pulled away from the campaign and in a statement to reporters, Cornyn said, "We're done," meaning they were intent on taking their money and going home.
In response to an abortion question, Akin said that women's bodies can shut down and avoid pregnancy after a "legitimate rape."
But not everyone distanced themselves from Akin and his campaign in mid-August. When asked about the Republican dollars flowing back into the campaign, one leading conservative was quick to respond.
"It's about time," said Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women of America. Nance and other conservatives such as Family Research Council, Mike Huckabee, Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have stood with him in the race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.
"The question is do they want the gavel to be taken away from Harry Reid or not," Nance said. "They would not be putting money into this race if it weren't winnable."
Missouri GOP spokesman Jonathan Prouty declined to respond to reporters when asked where the funding for the ad came from, but rather said the GOP was still committed to defeating the incumbent Democrat.
"Claire McCaskill has voted with Barack Obama 95 percent of the time since 2010, supporting Obamacare, the stimulus, and massive new taxes on American job creators," Prouty said in a statement to Politico. "That's why the Missouri Republican Party and our many supporters are committed to doing everything we can to defeat Claire McCaskill and elect Todd Akin."