ST. LOUIS -- Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Monday launched a Halloween-week ad casting her Republican challenger Todd Akin as “scary” because of his remarks about “legitimate rape.” Akin, meanwhile, is gaining some outside help in his quest to oust Missouri’s senior senator.
McCaskill’s ad aired as Akin teamed up with Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe for a series of campaign events in the St. Louis area. Inhofe was attending an energy roundtable discussion and fundraiser, then touring an aerospace and defense firm with Akin. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Akin was to campaign in the Kansas City area with former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
McCaskill has not been on the campaign trail because she is spending time with her critically ill mother. But that hasn’t stopped the first-term senator from launching new ads against Akin. Her latest begins with a woman proclaiming: “Todd Akin is scary.” The ad then features a video clip from mid-August in which Akin says women rarely get pregnant from rape. Akin is shown saying: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Another woman in the ad says: “He has no idea how it even works and he wants to legislate about it?”
Akin has repeatedly apologized for his remark and said he was wrong, but the suburban St. Louis congressman has continued to campaign on his staunch opposition to abortion in all cases except when a woman’s life is endangered.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee and other deep-pocketed GOP interest groups dropped their advertising plans for Akin after the rape remark, and top national Republicans such as presidential candidate Mitt Romney called on Akin to quit the race. Akin instead forged ahead with his campaign. He has received support from Republicans, such as Gingrich, but has not regained the backing of Romney or the GOP’s Senate campaign committee.