(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt today offered a lukewarm defense of his decision to campaign for embattled Senate nominee Rep. Todd Akin, saying the debate in the Show-Me State is more about who should control the Senate.
In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Blunt said that Republicans still have a 50-50 chance of retaking the Senate and that the Missouri race to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill will “largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate.”
In August, Blunt called on Akin to step out of the race after the conservative lawmaker defended his opposition to abortion in cases of rape and incest by erroneously saying that a woman’s body is able to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” But last week, after Akin let a state deadline to withdraw from the ballot pass without resigning the nomination, Blunt said he would work to elect him.
“I think anybody else would have been a candidate that clearly would have won, and Todd very well may win,” Blunt told CNN. “He’s on a ticket at a time when people look at a Senate that’s not doing its work, and the only way to change that is to change the majority in the Senate.”
When accused by co-panelist Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) of flip-flopping and now endorsing Akin’s candidacy, Blunt attempted to clarify: “What I said was that the national issues are big enough that we need to have a discussion of these issues rather than those that Todd managed to bring to the table.”