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Akin picks up endorsements from Santorum, DeMint

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin got some big-money endorsements for his re-election bid.

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ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 24: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) and Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) address the press on September 24, 2012 in Kirkwood, Missouri. Gingrich was in the St. Louis area to attend a fundraiser for Akin's U.S. Senate campaign against incumbent Claire McCaskill. (WHITNEY CURTIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is not only staying in the Senate race against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, he's picked up some big money endorsements from key Republicans, reports the Washington Post.

Tea Party favorite Jim DeMint and former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum are throwing their support for the embattled Akin, who is under fire for his "legitimate rape" comments that prompted calls for him to withdraw from the race.

DeMint and Santorum issued a joint statement, reported by ABC, saying Republicans needed to defeat McCaskill if they are to have any hope of overturning the Senate.

“We support Todd Akin and hope freedom-loving Americans in Missouri and around the country will join us so we can save our country from fiscal collapse," the pair wrote.

The endorsement from DeMint is one more indicator that his powerful conservative PAC is considering restoring funding for Akin's Senate bid.

According to ABC, the Senate Conservatives Fund said Tuesday that "circumstances have changed". 

If the PAC does endorse Akin, it will likely help him raise a large amount of money that he'll need to repair his damaged political image.

USA Today reports that DeMint's PAC was a key player in the 2010 sweep of conservative Republicans into the Senate, including Kentucky's Rand Paul and Florida's Marco Rubio.

Akin already has the support of one major Republican.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Newt Gingrich said national Republicans had a "moral obligation" to support Akin and predicted they would start funding his Senate campaign by October.

As expected, Akin ignored calls for him to bow out and committed to staying in the race against McCaskill.

He had until the end of the day Tuesday to withdraw his name from the November ballot.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/120926/akin-picks-endorsements-santorum-demint