RNC Chair Reverses Course, Says Republican Party Will ‘Absolutely’ Support Todd Akin

RNC Chair Reince Priebus (left) and Rep. Todd Akin (right)

Republicans, stuck with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) in the Missouri Senate race after the dropout deadline passed this week, have hit the fifth stage of grief: acceptance.

After Akin declared last month that women cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” nearly every prominent Republican called on the Missouri Republican to drop out, including RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. When a reporter asked him at the Republican National Convention last month whether the party would support Akin even if he didn’t drop out, Priebus was unequivocal: “no, no, no.”

REPORTER: If he stays in, is y’all’s position eventually going to change and you’re going to have to support him?

PRIEBUS: No, no, no. He can be tied, we’re not gonna send him a penny.

Watch it (beginning at 1:20):

Today, after Akin stayed in the race and polls showing it tied, Priebus took a far different tone:

Asked directly if he considered Akin to be a better option for Missouri voters than McCaskill, Priebus did not hesitate.

“Well, absolutely,” he said in the interview. “That’s a given, and as chairman of the party, I have an obligation to make sure we win as many seats in the Senate as possible.”

Akin again grabbed headlines this week when he told a reporter after a debate that Sen. McCaskill is not as “ladylike” as she was six years ago.