Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is fundraising off Sunday’s Meet the Press appearance by Newt Gingrich in which the former House speaker stood up for the embattled congressman.
A “stand with Newt by standing with Todd” fundraising appeal shows $225 raised out of a $5,000 target.
“Todd Akin was the choice for the people in Missouri, and Todd Akin has publicly apologized. And I think that — and the last poll shows he’s beating the Democratic senator,” Gingrich said. “I think that we ought to go on from that. Karl Rove said some terrible things on Friday for which he has apologized which should remind us. People make mistakes.”
Bloomberg reported Friday that Rove quipped to a breakfast of GOP donors, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
“Given the current FBI investigation of threats against Congressman Akin and calls for acts of violence and rape against his family and staff, joking as to the potential murder of Congressman Akin is deeply disturbing. I am certain he misspoke,” Akin’s district director, Steve Taylor, said in a written statement released on Friday.
Rove later apologized. Akin said in a Facebook posting, “I appreciate the call from Karl Rove, and accept the apology.”
“In the age of Gabby Giffords, it is not a joke to say that a member of Congress ought to get murdered. And I’m frankly fed up with the one-sided bias, OK?” Gingrich said Sunday. “…Akin has publicly apologized. He has said he made a mistake. I’m not trying to spend the whole show on this. I’m just saying there’s a very one-sided model here.”
Akin has also ramped up his messaging of battling the establishment, running online ads saying “if the party bosses would have had their way, Charlie Crist would be a US Senator instead of Marco Rubio.”
Gingrich referenced the same messaging in his Meet appearance. “Now for Washington figures — remember, the same Washington figures who last time wanted to kick off Marco Rubio for Charlie Crist — who will be in Charlotte, I just think people ought to be a little cautious about saying the voters of Missouri don’t count,” he said.
Akin’s biggest champion to this point, in the wake of his “legitimate rape” comments, has been Mike Huckabee.
The latest poll out of Missouri has Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) up by 1 point on Akin. The Real Clear Politics average has McCaskill up by 6.7 points.