Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin said his Democratic opponent, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, was more "ladylike" in her campaign six years ago than when she debated him on Sept. 21.
When she defeated Republican Senator Jim Talent in 2006, McCaskill "had a confidence and was very much more sort of ladylike," Akin told reporters Thursday at a press conference in Jefferson City on the third day of a statewide bus tour.
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"In the debate we had Friday, she came out swinging, and I think that's because she was threatened," Akin said.
McCaskill spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki didn't respond to a request for comment. McCaskill, 59, is seeking a second term.
Akin, 65, a six-term Republican congressman, was pressured by other Republicans to quit the Senate race after he said in a television interview last month that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.
He refused to end his candidacy, and some Republicans resumed supporting him after Sept. 25, the last day he could seek a court order to have his name removed from the Nov. 6 ballot. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate Republicans' campaign arm, endorsed him yesterday. Last month, NRSC Chairman John Cornyn of Texas had called on Akin to leave the race.
Washington Senator Patty Murray, who heads Senate Democrats' campaign efforts, said in a statement that Akin was "at it again with another comment that's demeaning to women and offensive to all."
She called on the NRSC to condemn his latest remark.