JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond is now supporting Todd Akin’s Senate campaign after previously calling on him to quit.

Bond’s endorsement Friday marks an encouraging sign for Akin, who is trying to rebuild support among the Republican establishment after remarking last month that women’s bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy in what he called “legitimate rape.”

Bond was part of a coalition of past and present Missouri senators who had urged Akin to drop out. But Bond now says he believes Akin’s apology was sincere and will help his campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Bond says, quote: “It is time to focus on the national stakes in this election.”

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt also recently backed Akin. But former Sen. John Danforth is still not doing so.

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