Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich campaigned Tuesday with embattled GOP Missouri Senate nominee Todd Akin, and predicted that Republicans will be back to help the congressman after today's deadline for him to petition for removal from the ballot.
And the St. Louis Beacon flagged GOP Sen. Roy Blunt in an interview on KMOX radio, in which they wrote he "appeared to be softening his opposition" to Akin's continued bid:
"I issued a statement on that some time ago along with other Republicans who served in the Senate from Missouri," Blunt said. "And our view was that Todd [Akin] was not the best candidate to win this race, after some things that happened after the primary. It wasn't just the last [rape] comment he made, but others about the school lunch program and just a whole series of things.
"But, we'll see. You know, he was nominee, he gets to decide whether to stay in or not, "Blunt continued. "And I think I'm not going to have much to say about that until we get to the final decision of what's going to happen on the ticket. And that's -- I don't have any reason to believe that Todd's going to make a different decision between now and 5 o'clock [Tuesday] but I've tried to stay out of it in all ways, both harmful and otherwise, to Todd.
In the statement he referenced, Blunt and four former GOP Missouri senators had called on Akin to drop out of the race in August. Blunt called Akin's comments on "legitimate" rape "totally unacceptable."
Akin will hold a press conference at 3:00 p.m. EST today -- but there's absolutely no indication that he'll announce he'll drop out (and in fact, he just tweeted
, "We're not going anywhere," accompanied by a picture of a "memo" from him to "D.C. Party Bosses," with the same message. So Blunt appears to just be accepting the reality.