Despite ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comments, Right-Wing Groups Continue To Spend For Akin

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

After Senate nominee and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) August comments that victims of “legitimate rape” are unlikely to become pregnant, a wide array of leading Republicans called on him to withdraw from the race. When he refused, some outside groups cancelled their plans to run ads on Akin’s behalf. But, a ThinkProgress review of independent expenditures shows several groups have continued to spend in support of Akin.

Among those continuing to back Akin are:

1. Reinventing A New Direction PAC (Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) leadership PAC): This political action committee has spent at least $100,000 on its media efforts against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). The group’s ad attacks McCaskill for supporting foreign aid. Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) denounced the spots — which are also being run against other Senate Democrats.

2. Faith Family Freedom Fund (the super PAC affiliated with the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group): This super PAC has reported spending more than $15,000 on radio ads attacking McCaskill for her support for Obamacare and the 2009 stimulus law — though it does not mention the social issues the group tends to focus on. One speaker in the ads argues “everyone’s talking about this so-called war on women, and it seems to me that McCaskill is the problem,” because she “made the economy worse.” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins criticized the GOP’s abandonment as “suspect.”

3. Senate Conservatives Fund (Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) leadership PAC): This political action committee has spent more than $90,000 backing Akin, including e-mail list rental and on-line processing. The PAC’s website is collecting online contributions for Akin and says it has already raised more than $444,000 for his campaign. DeMint and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) endorsed Akin in September, saying, “We support Todd Akin and hope freedom-loving Americans in Missouri and around the country will join us so we can save our country from fiscal collapse.”

4. National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund and its NRA Institute for Legislative Action: The political and lobbying arms of the pro-gun group
have combined to spent more than $140,000 on flyers and postcard mailings. The group’s endorsement praised Akin for his “proven record of defending the Second Amendment.”

5. National Right to Life PAC: This anti-abortion group spent more than $30,000 on mailings backing Akin.

6. Freedom’s Defense Fund: This PAC, tied to birther and Swift Boat conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi has spent over $150,000 running TV ads in support of Akin. While one recent ad attacked McCaskill for her support of “socialism” and “the liberal assault on free markets and traditional values,” the group made the odd decision to run a pro-Akin ad that actually reminds voters of Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments.

Watch the spot:

7. Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Statewide Farm PAC: The group, which claims to support candidates who are pro-agriculture, has spent about $20,000 on radio ads supporting Akin.

8. National Federation of Independent Business: This pro-GOP trade association spent more than $10,000 on mailings against McCaskill. The group, which calls itself “the voice of small business,” endorsed Akin this month, noting his opposition to Obamacare, tax increases, and “the regulatory bureaucracies in Washington.”

In recent weeks, Akin has come under additional fire for repeatedly comparing McCaskill to a dog, claiming there is no “science” behind evolution, and arguing against equal pay laws.