Rep. W. Todd Akin, make room on your campaign platform — the Duggar family is on its way.
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar — and many of their 19 children — campaigned for Rick Santorum during the Republican presidential primaries and now they're heading to Missouri to stump for Mr. Akin, the GOP congressman and home-school hero who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Possibly the country's most famous home-schooling family, the Duggars star on TLC's "19 Kids and Counting," a television show that follows them in their daily lives in northern Arkansas. The family met Mr. Akin at a Patriot Day rally and "really fell in love" with him and his wife, Lulli, Mr. Duggar said.
"Todd Akin is a true-blood conservative," Mr. Duggar told The Washington Times. "He's somebody we believe in."
It's a natural partnership, since the Akins educated their six children at home and home-schoolers are among their most devoted and active supporters.
And Mr. Akin is sure to welcome the Duggars' help, as he struggles to make up ground in the race after his claim that women are unlikely to become pregnant due to "legitimate" rape alienated most in his party — including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which refuses to contribute to his race.
Mr. Duggar said that's an "excuse," saying that Senate Republicans don't want to support someone as conservative as Mr. Akin, who is one of the staunchest pro-life, anti-gay marriage advocates in Congress.
"When a conservative candidate is running, [the NRSC] is not as apt to go and get behind them," Mr. Duggar said. "I think what people are realizing in Missouri is that they need to give money directly to the candidate."
The Duggars will start off Tuesday in Springfield, appearing at a luncheon where Mrs. Duggar will speak, along with former Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee.
Then they'll branch off on their own, holding rallies for Mr. Akin in Osage Beach, Farmington and Council Bluffs in the southern part of the state. And as the Duggar children often do at campaign events, they'll bring along their violins and kick off the events by performing gospel songs.
With the exceptions of son John-David and daughter Jill, Mr. Duggar said he expects the whole crew will come along — including their oldest son Josh, his wife Anna and their two children.
Like other Akin supporters, Mr. Duggar said voters should forgive him and move on since the congressman has repeatedly apologized.
"Everybody misspeaks occasionally and says something maybe they shouldn't have said, but I really believe Todd Akin is somebody who is a proven conservative, who has a track record, that he will stand for what's right," he said. "He's the kind of man our family wants to get behind."
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