The Senate campaign of Rep. Todd Akin (R) has taken the unusual step of posting an email exchange with a reporter on its campaign website.
On Tuesday afternoon, the campaign posted an email exchange between Akin senior adviser Rick Tyler and Kevin McDermott, a political reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which McDermott sought a response from the Akin campaign for a story he was writing.
"I guess when you’re down double-digits and your campaign is the laughingstock of the election cycle, maybe they figure they have nothing left to lose. But it doesn’t say a lot about their integrity and seriousness as a Senate campaign," one GOP strategist said in response to the post.
McDermott was in the process of writing a story about Akin arrest records from the 1980s related to his involvement with anti-abortion protests. Tyler fired back at McDermott, questioning him personally and — by extension — the news judgement of the Post-Dispatch.
"So the the Post-Dispatch is going to cover something that happened quarter century ago over something that is relevant now," Tyler said in the exchange.
McDermott was critical of the campaign's response.
"I shared the top of it with the campaign in an effort to give them an opportunity to fully respond, not to allow them to hurl an incomplete story out there under my name," McDermott wrote in an email to Roll Call. "Unfortunately, I assumed I was dealing with a professional."
Akin is polling behind Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). She is stepping away from the campaign trail to be with her mother, who is in intensive care, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. The campaign is asking for privacy and for people to keep McCaskill and her family in their prayers.
Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic.