Controversial U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin has taken his campaign on the road. Akin’s so-called “Missouri Common Sense Bus Tour” began this week with the U.S. representative traveling with a who’s who of ultra-right crusaders.
The tour began on Sept. 25 in St. Louis.
Tour participants include Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum; Dick Bott, founder of Bott Radio Network; Rich Bott, president of Bott Radio Network; Don Hinkle, director of public policy for the Missouri Baptist Convention; Bev Ehlen, Missouri president of Concerned Women for America; Dr. David Baker, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Belton; and Buddy Smith, executive director of the American Family Association.
Tour stops include Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Joplin, Springfield, Lebanon, Rolla, Jefferson City, Columbia, Clinton, Warsaw, Kansas City and Liberty.
Akin is running against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D, with at least one poll showing him in the lead.
His once little-noticed campaign made international headlines in August, when he said that women rarely get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” As the controversy escalated, Republican leaders, even those who share Akin’s policy positions on abortion, urged him to drop out of the race.
He refused, and at the end of August, the Republican National Party adopted a platform aligned with Akin’s position on abortion – a blanket ban, including for pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.
On Sept. 25, with the tour getting under way, Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint released a joint statement endorsing Akin: “If Republicans are to win back the Senate and stop President Obama’s liberal agenda, we must defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri. Todd Akin is a principled conservative who is committed to winning and fighting for freedom in the U.S. Senate.”
Newt Gingrich also supports Akin.
The joiners on Akin’s tour share his position on abortion, as well as extremist anti-gay views.