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U.S. Senate Race: Todd Akin Brings Campaign Back To St. Louis, Speaks To Women

Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly said Akin's "six-second mistake" will be forgotten.

Approximately 200 women from the St. Louis area came together Tuesday night in Chesterfield, at Pillar of the Valley, to show their support for Todd Akin.

They were part of a group called Missouri Women Standing with Todd Akin.

The event marked the Republican nominee's first campaign stop in St. Louis since he returned to the campaign trail after regrouping his campaign amid calls from many in the GOP to drop out of the race against Democrat Claire McCaskill. Akin, a U.S. Representative from Wildwood, has been under fire following his controversial comments about pregnancy and "legitimate rape" last month in a television interview with FOX2.

“We felt like women are able to have the capacity to better translate (support for Akin) to other women,” said Heather Kesselring of Maryland Heights. “Personally, I’ve known Todd for 22 years, and he’s a phenomenal man of character.”

Kesselring's message to the group was to go out and talk and network, and build support for Akin.

A video featuring women described by campaign literature as a “single mother, saved alcoholic and student,” a “middle-income mother,” a “married mother of 13,” and a “doctor in a pediatric subspecialty and a mom of four children” helped introduce the candidate.

Akin spoke for only two and a half minutes and had no comment for reporters in attendance. He told the crowd about being with his mother in Concord, MA, when he was 7 years old. He said she later helped him memorize a poem, the Concord Hymn, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which commemorated the Battle of Concord. He said the women in the room can “pass on that blessing of freedom to our children and grandchildren.”

Phyllis Schlafly, a leader in the conservative movement and author of the book, A Choice, Not An Echo, was there, and talked about how the event went toward repairing damage done by Akin’s “six-second mistake.”

“So many people have made so many mistakes, I think that’s going to be forgotten,” she said. “Of course this war against women is the phoniest thing that any politician ever thought up. Todd Akin is a wonderful man and he stands for the real conservative message.”

Schlafly also announced that former House Speaker and Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich would be in St. Louis Monday for an Akin campaign fundraiser, which is significant on several levels. The National Republican Senate Campaign Committee and other outside funding sources for advertising have shunned Akin since the FOX2 interview.

Holding the event Monday would also come after a practical deadline later this week for a candidate to take their name off the November ballot with a court order.

Scott Simon September 19, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I like Phyllis but she is wrong to say people will forget. 30-40 years ago, before cable TV and the Internet, she'd be right. But today's news cycle is not 24/7, or even hourly. Today's news cycle is every second because what he said can be seen every second by anyone.
Tom Maher September 19, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Perhaps Ms. Schlafly or Ms. Kesselring would pass this on to the candidate or his wife: "Well, Mrs. Akin - perhaps one of your husband's factotums will pass along this question to you, long unanswered: 'While your husband was voting in Town & Country - where he did not live - where were you and your at-home kids voting - in Wildwood where you and they lived, or in T&C, where you did not?' But - I don't really expect an answer..." Amazing the network that you ladies have initiated today! Reminds me of the fervor of the No Real Acumen kidz. Among Mr. Akin's many battles for women have been the three bills he's managed to get through Congress - you know, the ones about renaming post offices; he's even ignored by the rest of the t p Representatives.
Phillip T. Tatlow September 20, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Mr. Akin let his true feelings show when he discussed abortion and what he called "legitimate rape" and how the women's body has a mechanism for taking care of the situation. Mr. Akin's efforts after the fact, and the women standing up for him is just a shallow attempt to gloss over his mistakes and his real positions to try and take a seat for the Republicans. Electing Mr. Akin is a step back for women and equality. Regardless of party affiliation, he is a loose cannon and needs to be defeated.
Scott Simon September 21, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Tom Maher, bingo. 12 years in Congress. What committee has he led? What semi-major to major bills has he passed? Answer: None. I might not have agreed otten with Sen. Eagleton when he was in office but he was a leader. Not Akin. No leadership.

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