(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Newt Gingrich is coming to St. Louis Monday for a Todd Akin fundraiser because he wants “to tell the people of Missouri” that they have the right to stand by the Republican Senate candidate of their choice, regardless of what the party’s leaders tell them.

In a phone interview today with the Post-Dispatch, Gingrich, the former House Speaker and presidential candidate, said the controversy surrounding Akin isn’t the point. “The people of Missouri picked him to be their nominee in a fair fight.”

He also warned what others have said: That for the GOP to throw in the towel on the Missouri Senate seat, as the party’s national leaders appear to be doing, will probably mean losing the Senate.

“I don’t see how the Republicans are going to win the Senate if they throw away a seat like Missouri.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.