Former congressman Todd Akin is considering a primary challenge to Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt next year — and thinks his message will resonate with conservatives who have "been pushed out" of the party, The Hill reports
"I have not ruled anything out," said Akin, whose 2012 GOP Senate bid tanked after he asserted women rarely get pregnant from "legitimate rape."
"I think there is a high level of dissatisfaction among conservatives, that they have to some degree been pushed out of the Republican Party," he told The Hill. "The sentiment is there. The tea party is skeptical and wants some fresh blood, not just the same establishment guys."
Akin came under fire during his race against Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill for his comment during a discussion about why abortion should be illegal in all cases, even rape and incest.
"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge.
Akin later charged the GOP abandoned him in a race he was poised to win, telling "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
last year, "[The] other alternative we felt was to apologize for the perception that had been created ... [and] because also the Republican leadership was cutting off our money from behind, our only real choice we felt was to apologize not for what I'd said, but for the perception that it created.''
Akin told The Hill if he does decide to challenge Blunt, it will be to move the party away from a myopic focus on economic issues at the expense of social issues like abortion.
"I think [Blunt’s] support among conservatives is weak," Akin said. "His biggest liability is a third-party conservative getting into the race. If I were in Roy’s shoes, that’s what I’d be worried about."
The Hill reports he has more than $2.2 million in cash on hand already and has said he intends to run for re-election, though he's not officially announced. For Democrats, Missouri Secretary of State
Jason Kander launches his bid last week.
The GOP establishment is likely to support Blunt, a centrist, if he faces a primary challenger, The Hill reports — and that's part of the problem, Atkin says.
"This new approach under [Karl] Rove’s leadership has party bosses picking the candidates, it’s not a grass-roots thing that comes up through the party," he told The Hill.
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