Did Paul Ryan Endorse Todd Akin for Mo. US Senate? Maybe Not

(GOP Senate candidiate Todd Akin-Official photo)

SWednesday was filled with a conflicting set of events in the Missouri Republican US Senate campaign.

First, Rep Todd Akin’s senate campaign was touting an endorsing by House Budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan.

But it appears it was not an endorsement in the purest sense.

Here is Politico’s take:

Rep. Paul Ryan hasn’t endorsed Todd Akin’s Senate campaign after all.

“As the release and the quote from Rep. Ryan indicates, Paul was applauding Congressman Akin’s work on the House Budget Committee and praising his commitment to fiscal responsibility. There’s no endorsement of Akin’s candidacy referenced so not sure where that’s coming from,” explained Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert.

Akin’s team sent out a campaign release this afternoon touting Ryan’s support of Akin in Washington, but now on second look, there’s no specific use of the word “endorsement.”

John Brunner’s campaign accused Akin of intentionally misleading reporters with the statement Akin sent on Senate campaign letterhead.

The initial release  convinced another  Senate candidate, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman to blast the event s as  standard inside washington baseball.

Steelman, who waffled on her support for the Ryan plan earlier this year, reacted swiftly to reinforce her outsider credentials:  “Typical Washington D. C. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours. I am not the go along get along guy that is running to represent Washington D.C. I am running to represent the citizens of Missouri.”

“We will never attempt to mislead members of the media by claiming endorsements that do not exist,” Brunner strategist John Hancock emails.

The campaign email certainly strongly suggests that Ryan, NRCC chair Pete Sessions and Republican Study Chair Jim Jordan are behind Akin’s upper chamber aspirations.

The title on the release blares, “Reps. Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions and Jim Jordan: Akin’s Principled Leadership Needed in D.C.”

It also includes laudatory quotes of Akin from each member. Sessions writes, “He has my full support.”

But it now looks likes Akin’s team did in fact try to overplay collegial praise as an official endorsement, and count me as taking the bait.

An Akin spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry

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