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Gingrich to attend fundraiser for Congressman Todd Akin

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will attend a fundraiser for embattled Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin.

Gingrich spokesperson R.C. Hammond says the fundraiser is set for Monday. That's the day before the deadline for Akin to petition a court to be removed from the ballot, as many national and state Republicans have urged him to do.

Akin, who is running against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill came under fire for comments he made on local television last month about his since-recanted belief that victims of "legitimate rape" having natural defenses against pregnancy.

Akin has dropped in the polls since making those comments. The latest Real Clear Politics average has him trailing McCaskill by a little more than 5 percent.

Hammond told FOX News that Gingrich never defended Akin's comments, but has been pushing Akin to "campaign to clarify them to the Missouri voters, who need to make the decision for themselves."

Gingrich himself stated the same things when asked about the situation on on NBC's "Meet the Press" on September 2.

"Akin has publicly apologized. He has said he made a mistake, " Gingrich said.

Gingrich's longtime aide Rick Tyler joined Akin's campaign earlier this month.