McCaskill gets help from 'talking' mailers featuring Akin's voice; he blasts lack of GOP aid
With their televised debate just hours away, Missouri’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate – Republican Todd Akin and Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill -- find themselves in starkly different predicaments when it comes to outside political help.
Yet another independent Democratic SuperPAC, American Bridge 21st Century, is now spending money in Missouri on behalf of McCaskill. The group is sending out a small batch of talking mailers that feature Akin’s voice making his now-infamous “legitimate rape” comment, along with other observations against Medicare and government-backed student loans.
An American Bridge spokesman said about $37,000 was being spent on the mailers, which will go to targeted groups of "swing voters,'' predominantly women.
Meanwhile, a frustrated Akin sent out a news release Thursday afternoon in which he condemns the lack of help from national party leaders in the form of independent expenditures.
Akin’s release features pictures of Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus, National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman John Cornyn, and Crossroads GPS founder Karl Rove under the words, “Do They Want Her to Win?”
“Why have the DC party bosses turned their backs on Missouri, and on the prospect of defeating Claire McCaskill?” Akin’s campaign asks. “It’s a head scratcher, when you look at the numbers, and it’s left some people wondering … do they want her to win?"
He cites an independent poll, conducted by a Republican-leaning firm, that shows Akin with a slight lead. Akin contends that he is faring far better than some Republicans in other tight U.S. Senate races, including Virginia, where GOP groups are spending millions of dollars to help out their candidate.
Meanwhile, McCaskill has been circulating her latest internal poll in which she claims to have a substantial lead. On Thursday, the Democratic Senatorical Campaign Committee also released a poll with a similar double-digit lead for McCaskill.
The candidates’ common targets are GOP leaders. Akin wants the numbers to persuade them to get involved, while McCaskill’s effort is aimed at keeping them out.
Akin has gotten little national GOP help because many leaders wanted him to drop out after the publicity over the “legitimate rape” comments.
As for American Bridge, a spokesman says it is claiming part of the credit for the immediate furor over Akin’s televised rape comments, because an American Bridge employee based in Missouri to monitor Akin spotted his interview the morning of Aug. 19 with KTVI’s Charles Jaco.
“I think we helped push it out” on Twitter and other social media outlets, said American Bridge spokesman Chris Harris. "We first caught the 'legitimate rape' comment and circulated it."
Harris added that American Bridge has been tracking Akin's comments for at least a year and recently posted a website highlighting its videos of him.