Mike Huckabee declared his support for Todd Akin staying in the race against Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill in an email Thursday, Politico's Alexander Burns reports. "Who ordered this 'Code Red' on Akin?" Huckabee wrote, saying Akin had "owned his mistake" and that the Republican Party has betrayed the Missourian. "If Todd Akin loses the Senate seat, I will not blame Todd Akin," Huckabee writes.
The Republican Party has sometimes seemed to be in a civil war between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives, and you can find evidence for that in the language Huckabee uses:
From the spotlights of political offices and media perches, it may appear that the demand for Akin’s head is universal in the party. I assure you it is not. There is a vast, but mostly quiet army of people who have an innate sense of fairness and don't like to see a fellow political pilgrim bullied....
It wasn't just Todd Akin that was treated with contempt by the thinly veiled attack on Todd Akin. It was all the people who have faithfully knocked doors, made calls, and made sacrificial contributions to elect Republicans because we thought we were welcome in the party.
Akin first apologized for his "legitimate rape" comment on Huckabee's radio show, and announced he was staying in the race there, too. Evangelical tempers are flaring over Akin's comments and how the GOP responded. On Monday, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins warned Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown to be "careful" with his criticism of Akin. Reacting to the Huckabee email, Iowa evangelical leader and radio host Steve Deace tweeted, "To those who think Romney should remove Huckabee's convention speech over Akin, I promise you Romney will lose election if he does that." Earlier Deace urged the "GOP establishment" to "Grow up. Show unity. Be team players." His latest tweet is a little more forceful. Deace also posted on his site a story titled, "Romney-Ryan Campaign Is Wrong on Abortion." The ticket supports a rape exception to a ban on all abortions.
Update: Another clue Akin's in for good? Republicans had considered switching Akin with Ann Wagner, who's running for his House seat. Wagner put out a statement Thursday saying there will be no switch.