Akin rally draws nearly as many protestors as supporters


Kansas City Star

A first-thing-in-the-morning rally at Union Station in Kansas City for Todd Akin today drew nearly as many protestors as it did backers of the Republican Senate candidate.

About 60 protestors toting signs such as "Akin: No on School Lunches" and "Apology Not Accepted" crowded in behind a crowd of about 75 pro-Akin supporters inside Union Station's North Waiting Room.

They made some noise, but not enough to overpower a pair of speakers that broadcast speeches from Akin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 5th District congressional candidate Jacob Turk and others.

But the protest signaled that Akin's campaign continues to be mired in controversy just six days before election day.

Meantime, the campaign of Akin's Democratic opponent, Claire McCaskill, announced that she would make three stops in the St. Louis area this afternoon to discuss issues facing seniors, veterans and working families. The stops would mark McCaskill's first since her mother, Betty Anne McCaskill, died Monday afternoon.

As he did on Tuesday, Gingrich offered spirited support for Akin, calling Akin a dependable conservative and saying the election of Akin would send the GOP establishment a clear signal that it cannot dictate candidates to individual states. GOP leaders, including Mitt Romney, urged Akin to withdraw from the race after the primary after Akin's comments about "legitimate rape."

Akin has apologized for the remarks.

"The choice could not be bigger in the Senate race," Gingrich said. "Missouri needs a senator who represents Missouri."

Akin started his remarks by saying: "What a beautiful sunrise. It's a great day to be free."

He insisted that the country remains strongly anti-abortion. "We as a people say, `You are important. And why are you important? Because God made you, and you're special.'"

Akin called the pursuit of happiness "the most beautiful thing of all" and said "every day is another adventure in your life."

Later today, Akin is scheduled to campaign in Richmond and Jefferson City. In a change of plans, an aide said Akin may return to the Kansas City area on Saturday. The aide had said Tuesday that the Union Station rally would be the campaign's last stop in KC.

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category