Santorum, DeMint endorse Akin in Mo. senate race

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Todd Akin US Representative of Missouri

(AP Photo)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin has won two high-profile Republican endorsements a day after guaranteeing his candidacy would continue.

On Wednesday, former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party star, announced support for Akin. They called Akin a “principled conservative” who is committed to fighting for freedom. Santorum easily won Missouri’s nonbinding Republican presidential primary in February.

Akin had faced pressure to quit the campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill after his televised comments that women’s bodies have a natural defense against pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.”

Tuesday was the final deadline to withdraw.

Akin repeatedly has apologized for the comment, but he lost financial support from top national Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

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