Sarah Palin took a hardline against Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin last night, slamming his decision to stay in the race and calling for a third-party challenger to jump into the fray.
“This is not going in his favour,” Palin said in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Von Susteren Tuesday. “So you have to step aside from self, from your self-desire to get in there and serve and do what you believe is right, and you have to, in a sense, take one for the team. And you have to step aside. Hand the mantle to someone else.”
Palin’s remarks amount to a big “I told you so” to her fellow Tea Party conservatives. The former Alaska governor endorsed Akin’s primary opponent Sarah Steelman in Missouri’s Republican Senate primary, breaking with several major Tea Party groups who heavily favoured Akin. Steelman, a former state treasurer, came in third in the primary with 29% of the vote, behind Akin and businessman John Brunner.
“I won’t gloat about it, but I was right,” Palin told Von Susteren. “Sarah Steelman was the right person — I supported her then, and I’m going to continue to support her.”
And Palin sees another opportunity for Steelman, now that Akin is persona non grata in the Republican Party.
“Now we do see another opportunity,” Palin said. “Missouri is a must-win state. The way we do it is to have someone like Sarah Steelman run, even if it’s as a third-party candidate.
Palin, who, like Akin, is a staunch pro-life advocate, said that she sympathizes with the Missouri congressman, but that it is clear he needs to step aside so that Republicans can regain their opportunity to take back the Senate.
“Bless his heart, I don’t want to pile on Todd Akin, because in some respects I understand what he’s trying to say here, in standing on principle, that he doesn’t want to be perceived as a quitter,” Palin said “But you got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them
“Believe me, I’ve walked it before,” she added.
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