By Alicia M. Cohn - 09/28/12 12:51 PM EDT
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Friday that Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) comment that she did not act “ladylike” in their debate reflects his lack of a comeback.
McCaskill argued the GOP challenger for her Senate seat was not “prepared” to debate her and fell back on the insults as a result.
“I think the debate was tough for Todd because I went through the list of his very, very extreme positions and I think he wasn't prepared to answer some of that,” she said.
Akin earlier this week told the Kansas City Star that McCaskill had been “much more ladylike” in her first campaign in 2006. He said she was “very aggressive” during the debate and described her as a “wildcat.”
Those comments follow Akin’s controversial comments in August, in which he argued women rarely get pregnant after “legitimate rape” because a woman’s body has “ways to shut that whole thing down.”
National Republicans pulled money from the race and urged Akin to drop out after those remarks, but some conservatives are now pressing them to back his candidacy.
Polls suggest the race remains tight, and the winner could decide which party has control of the Senate next year.
McCaskill firmly rejected the idea that Akin's latest comments are out of character.
“This is somebody who kind of makes Michele Bachmann look like a hippie,” she said, referring to the Minnesota congresswoman who ran for the Republican presidential nomination and leads the Tea Party Caucus in the House.
“He is very much in a group of people that would never be part of a compromise that we need to find to address the fiscal cliff,” she said. “Todd is going to be part of a kind of fringe caucus that wants to convince everyone that the government is the enemy. Government is not the answer, but it's not the enemy.”
She said she is asking supporters to weigh in on the topic of whether she is ladylike by contributing $5 to her campaign.