Gingrich to fundraise with Akin

Newt Gingrich will attend a fundraiser for embattled Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) on Monday, The Hill has confirmed.  

The $500-a-plate fundraiser will take place in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Beacon first reported the news and, according to the paper, Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the conservative Eagle Forum and one of Akin's most outspoken supporters, told attendees of a "Women for Akin" event on Wednesday that the former speaker would be there.

Akin staffer Rick Tyler formerly worked on Gingrich's presidential campaign.

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Gingrich was one of the few Republicans to come out in defense of Akin following the firestorm sparked by his comments that pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape" are rare because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Gingrich said: "I think Todd Akin was the choice of the people of Missouri, and Todd Akin has publicly apologized."

Most of the GOP, however, including Mitt Romney, denounced Akin's comments and called for him to step down from the Republican candidacy for Missouri's Senate race, where he's challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Republicans have worried publicly that Akin's persistence is jeopardizing a race that they expected to be an easy get in their fight to win back the majority in the Senate.

National party organizations withdrew funds from the race, leaving Akin with extensive financial difficulties in his run and only hundreds of thousands of cash on hand in a state that typically requires millions to blanket the airwaves and travel across. Akin has looked for alternate fundraising sources, however, launching online moneybombs to collect small donations. This is the first fundraising event Akin has held with a prominent party figure.