Report: Akin Met in Secret With Evangelical Powerbrokers

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 23 2012 12:23 PM

Todd Akin's Secret Trip to Tampa To Meet With Evangelical Powerbrokers

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Rep. Darrell Issa (right) talks to Rep. Todd Akin outside the Republican National Committee headquarters in March 2011

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Politico reports that Todd Akin traveled to Tampa, Fla., last night to meet with members of a "secretive coalition" of powerful conservative and Evangelical leaders:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

"A person attending the [Council for National Policy] gathering in Tampa confirmed Akin was there Wednesday evening, after several sources close to Akin in Missouri said he would be attending. It was unclear if Akin had been invited prior to his "legtimate rape" remarks Sunday. Akin’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment. ... Akin’s whereabouts have been a topic of keen interest. He was spotted Tuesday night returning home from a Missouri airport after a trip to Ohio to meet a campaign strategist and cut an ad apologizing for his comments."
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Akin has largely been abandoned by the national GOP apparatus after his "legitimate rape" comments this past weekend, but he still appears to have a small but loyal group of supporters. As the Washington Post explained earlier today, while Akin has carved out only a small legacy in the halls of Congress, "He has made loyal allies among conservative legislators and Christian groups."

Those Christian groups include the American Family Association and the Family Research Council. His presence at the CNP gathering suggests that group isn't ready to turn its back on him either.

Not a lot is known about the CNP, which appears to be just the way its members like it. The New York Times did some digging back in 2004 and filed this report on the group and its "strictly confidential" membership. Here's a few snippets to whet your appetite:

Three times a year for 23 years, a little-known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country have met behind closed doors at undisclosed locations for a confidential conference, the Council for National Policy, to strategize about how to turn the country to the right. Details are closely guarded. ...
Mr. Bush addressed the group in fall 1999 to solicit support for his campaign, stirring a dispute when news of his speech leaked and Democrats demanded he release a tape recording. He did not.
Not long after the Iraq invasion, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld attended a council meeting.

You can read the full thing here.

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