McCaskill opponent unfamiliar with Violence Against Women Act

Democrats pounced, calling it an example of how Steelman was unprepared to lead.

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"The thousands of victims of domestic violence here in Missouri would probably tell Sarah that Violence Against Women does, in fact, exist and remains a very serious issue," said party spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki.

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."