News Column

Todd A, On TV Ads, Challenging Sen. McCaskill

Oct. 31, 2012

Steve Kraske, The Kansas City Star

Todd Akisnon

Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin said Tuesday in Lee's Summit that he'll match his Democratic rival, Claire McCaskill, in TV ad spending in the race's final week.

Akin said he no longer will be outspent 9 to 1 or 10 to 1 as he has in recent weeks.

"That ratio is going to change now," Akin said. "We have enough money to be able to do more advertising."

Akin is spending Tuesday and Wednesday in the Kansas City area in what aides said would be his final visit to the area during this campaign. At noon Tuesday, Akin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich attended a campaign fundraiser on the Plaza.

At 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, the two will hold a "Standing with Courage Rally" at Union Station.

McCaskill is off the campaign trail because her mother died Monday.

Gingrich said he was amazed by Tuesday's fundraiser for Akin.

"It is the first fundraiser I've ever gone to that spontaneously became a rally," he said. "When he (Akin) tells you that he has intensity among his supporters, I can personally vouch. I have seen it, and it is astonishing how dedicated they are."

Asked if he had any regrets in this campaign for anything he'd said, Akin said, "There was at least one interview that I wished I had turned down."

That was a reference to the TV interview in August in which he talked about "legitimate rape." He apologized later, but the resulting media and political firestorm led to a chorus of calls for him to withdraw from the race, which Akin refused to do.

"On the other hand, we move forward and do the best we can at each point," Akin said. "When we make a mistake, say you're sorry and just keep on going."

Gingrich said Republicans who called for Akin's withdrawal "made a mistake in principle" and "made a mistake historically."

"And I think on election night when Todd wins, there will be a number of people picking up the phone and calling to say, 'Oh, gee, I really meant to be for you.'"

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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