The National Republican Senatorial Committee may be changing its tune on Todd Akin. Despite first urging him to drop out of the Missouri Senate race following his “legitimate rape” comments and later calling the contest “not a winnable race” for Akin, all signs point to a last-minute ad buy by the NRSC on Akin’s behalf. The timing of the buy means the source won’t be known until after Election Day.
The $700,000 buy is being coordinated with the Missouri Republican Party. Politico reported on the details Wednesday.
“Only national committees — the NRSC or the Republican National Committee — or individual campaign committees that raise money in compliance with federal limits are permitted to shift funds to a state party for a coordinated ad buy,” Politico noted.
The RNC told TPM Thursday it’s not paying for the ad. The NRSC did not offer a similar denial.
“Decline to comment,” a spokesperson for the NRSC told TPM multiple times over Wednesday and Thursday.
The Missouri GOP did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPM, but a spokesperson told Politico the party “does not comment on its advertising strategy.”
The new Missouri GOP ad buy isn’t the only last-minute spending pouring into the state on Akin’s behalf. A conservative super PAC announced an $800,000 buy Wednesday that urges voters to support Akin for the good of a GOP-held Senate. The ad urges people to look past Akin the man and view Akin as vote for GOP Senate control.
“Mitt Romney can take our nation in a new direction, but he needs a Senate that supports him,” the ad’s narrator says. “That’s where Todd Akin comes in. You don’t have to agree with everything he says, but you can be sure, in the Senate, Akin will vote for Romney’s policies.”