Democrats pounced, calling it an example of how Steelman was unprepared to lead.
Steelman's camp shot back by calling it a clumsy attempt by McCaskill's team to create phony campaign issues.
“Of course I am for stopping violence against women," Steelman said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that the Senate Democrats are making the current re-authorization of Violence Against Women bill into a political football. The Republicans are offering an improved version of the reauthorization bill and I want to review it."