Anyone who's looking for a reason why, despite previous actions, Republicans are now considering backing Todd Akin again (this despite Claire McCaskill and outside groups wasting no time dropping the hammer on Akin as soon as he couldn't drop out) need only look at the current Senate map. More specifically, they need to look at the Wisconsin Senate race, which was a race the GOP hoped could take the place of the Missouri Senate race in the list of pickups they needed to take back the Senate. With recent GOP successes in Wisconsin and a big name like Tommy Thompson as their nominee, it looked very promising.
Those hopes, as I've diaried about earlier, have now gone up in smoke. Thompson's poll numbers have suffered an epic collapse and now to make matters worse, he's had his own version of Mitt Romney's "47%" video, specifically a video from a Tea Party event in June dug up by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel where Thompson bragged about "finishing off welfare" and said he'd "do away" with Medicaid and Medicare. And not too surprisingly, Tammy Baldwin and her campaign are all over it:
"Tommy Thompson now says he wants to 'do away with Medicare,'" Baldwin spokesman John Kraus told TPM. "He supports the Republican plan on Medicare that will provide billions in new profits for big insurance companies and a voucher for seniors instead of the guaranteed benefit they paid for...It's clear Tommy is not for Wisconsin anymore."Needless to say, Thompson and company aren't taking this very well:
Kraus swiped Thompson, formerly the state's governor and President Bush's Secretary of Health and Human Services, as a "quarterback for George W. Bush on a sweetheart deal for drug companies."
In a statement to TPM, the Thompson campaign respopnded by saying Baldwin "would rather lie and demagogue the issues that put forth a credible plan," declaring that Thompson "actually provides solutions to our nation's problems."If the "solutions" refer to the Medicare-killing budget plan from his fellow Badger Stater Paul Ryan, time to go back to the drawing board, Tommy.
Already the video has prompted speculation that it will sink Thompson's already faltering Senate hopes. And I love this bit of advice:
Memo to Republicans: Just stay away from cameras, all cameras. And if you can, travel back in time and implement this advice in April or so.Sadly for them, Mitt can't and now Tommy can't either. And this time, he can't blame Mitt for his troubles. Unless, say, he was trying to flatter him by imitating him. If so, bad idea.
Now you might understand why the GOP is considering going back to supporting Akin. Because thanks to Thompson's efforts, they may have no choice left.