The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling
Akin: Blunt betrayed me
07/13/2014 12:10 PM
07/13/2014 2:49 PM
Todd Akin unloads on all sorts of people in his new memoir, Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom.
One of those “party bosses” is fellow Republican Roy Blunt, the Missouri senator, who is the target of several Akin broadsides.
That shouldn’t be surprising. While initially supportive after Akin won the 2012 GOP primary for Senate, Blunt quickly turned against the congressman following his “legitimate rape” remarks that turned Akin’s front-running campaign into one that was quickly out of contention.
Akin wound up losing to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.
One of Akin’s most serious charges is that Blunt and the Missouri Republican Party went so far as to shut down fundraisers for Akin, including a major one by a man who Akin describes only as “the president of a small coal company.”
“I had mentioned this event to Sen. Roy Blunt previously,” Akin writes. “You guessed it, the event was canceled. When I called the president of the coal company, he confirmed my suspicions. He had been contacted by the party.”
The “Roy Blunt machine” also targeted members of Akin’s congressional and campaign staffs, Akin said. One staffer received a letter from “a ranking state party official” who was “reckless enough to put it into writing.”
The letter said:
“I do not want to see your future in Missouri politics tarnished, and if you continue to support Mr. Akin’s bid for Senate by working on his campaign, the MRP (Missouri Republican Party) will have no choice but to refuse support for any future political endeavors you may have.
“I hope you consider the gravity of the situation and choose your path accordingly.”
Wrote Akin, “For young professional people working to get a foothold in the political world, these threats were very sobering.”
Blunt’s reaction via a spokeswoman:
“Senator Blunt appreciates the service Todd Akin has given to our country and the service his sons continue to give. He thinks Congressman Akin is a good man and well-intentioned, but based on what he has heard about the book, Senator Blunt has decided not to read it.”
Akin also insists that Blunt is not the conservative he portrays himself. Akin pointed out that Blunt voted for bills like No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, the farm bills “with all their social welfare,” and TARP, the big bank bailout.
“He also was responsible for twisting arms to get other Republicans to vote the same way he did. My arm resisted his twisting,” Akin wrote.
Early in the book, Akin recalled how after his Senate primary win in August 2012, Blunt joined a statewide GOP barnstorming tour around Missouri. Blunt told crowds what a great guy Akin was, the former congressman said, and how he and Akin “used to compete to be Missouri’s most conservative congressman.”
“This neck-and-neck race,” Akin wrote, “was news to me, to my staff and probably to his staff, too.”
Akin writes extensively about how betrayed he felt when Blunt and so many leading Republicans turned against him following his comments on rape. Those Republicans included former Missouri Sens. Jack Danforth and Kit Bond, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee.
McCaskill, Akin wrote, captured all his in a TV ad that included shots of McCain and Romney.
The spot concluded with McCaskill, as required by law, saying she approved the message.
“If I were Claire, I would have approved that message, too. I would also have sent thank-you notes to the Republicans who made it possible: Jack Danforth, Roy Blunt, Kit Bond, John McCain and especially Mitt Romney.
“Claire also had the money to drive this message home, and we did not have the money to fight back.”
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