A group of St. Louis religious leaders met Wednesday with an adviser to Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R) to condemn the Congressman’s statement that liberalism was associated with a “hatred of God,” a statement for which Akin has already apologized.
In a radio interview Friday with the socially conservative Family Research Council, Akin said, “At the heart of liberalism, really, is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.” Akin, who announced his bid to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) last month, was responding to a question about why NBC omitted the phrase “under God, indivisible” from a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in its coverage of professional golf’s U.S. Open this month.
On Tuesday, Akin clarified his remarks. “My statement during my radio interview was directed at the political movement, liberalism, not at any specific individual. If my statement gave a different impression, I offer my apologies,” he said in a statement.
One well-connected GOP strategist in the state was less than pleased with Akin’s campaign launch.
“Akin has done what all of us knew he was capable of doing: screwing it up,” the strategist said. “He’s not shown the signs of discipline that’s required to beat Claire yet.”
The strategist added, however, that it was not too late to right the campaign and that Akin’s fundraising numbers for the second quarter would be an important benchmark. Akin raised $459,000 in the first three months of this year and had a hefty $911,000 cash on hand and no campaign debt at end of March.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.