St. Charles, Missouri (CNN) – While Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has largely stayed on message regarding her opponent Republican Rep. Todd Akin and his status in their upcoming Senate race, she used the whole controversy to lighten the mood a bit before a stump speech.
Responding to a man who asked how her day was going as she waited for a microphone to be set up, McCaskill said, "You know, everything's pretty boring these days."
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"We get no action on this campaign. Nobody's paying any attention," she said to laughter.
One man in the crowd responded, "All you have to do is sit back and let the other guy get interviewed!"
She merely smiled in response.
Akin, who became Missouri's GOP nominee for the Senate race earlier this month, sparked a firestorm of criticism when he said in a Sunday interview that a woman's body is capable of preventing pregnancy during acts of "legitimate rape."
Following his comment, top Republicans and groups called on the congressman to drop his Senate bid and let another Republican step in to run against McCaskill. But Akin refused to withdraw his candidacy before a Tuesday evening deadline and has vowed to stay in the race, despite a lack of support from his own party.
For her part, McCaskill's campaign is emphasizing the senator's contributions to veterans affairs this week, with both stops Wednesday taking place in suburban St. Louis Veterans of Foreign Wars halls.
The only time Akin's name was mentioned–outside of a small press conference–was when she discussed how she has done more for veterans than he has. She took questions from the audience at both the day's events, and not one involved Akin.
Speaking with reporters in the suburb of Overland, however, the first-term senator was asked seemingly every iteration of Akin-centric questions, like what she would do if she were Akin and what this controversy has done to increase her chances of winning.
"The voters of Missouri have selected Todd Akin as the candidate, and he is the candidate," McCaskill told reporters. "It's gonna be an election between me and Todd Akin, and we will continue to draw those contrasts on many subjects where we have much different opinions."
While the Missouri Senate race had been considered a toss-up, two major political handicappers changed their ratings of the contest to be more favorable towards the Democratic Party-a big knock against the GOP, which had been eying the race a chance to pick up a much-needed seat in its quest to retake the Senate majority.
Asked about abortion Wednesday, McCaskill said she was "sure" that issue would come up in a debate between the two, as it is an area where they have contrasting views. She would not say exactly how great of a role she sees abortion playing in the race if Akin remains a candidate.
She was also asked whether she thinks she and Akin could have a substantive election season with the kind of distraction that's been created by the congressman's remarks,
McCaskill cited the event immediately prior to her press conference.
"I think I just had a pretty good meeting with veterans, drawing contrasts between myself and Todd Akin."
Meanwhile, Akin, who Wednesday was in the state, has kept out of public view aside from a couple of morning show appearances. The campaign has yet to say when he might get back to holding public campaign events.
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
clair your so funny.....and so is your boss obama...yep you two are a bunch real jokers..i mean jokes....
I tried to talk Akins out of revealing the republican official position on women's rights, but he just wouldn't listen. I do not think Akin understands how he and Ryan have the same position on almost everything. What is troubling, is that I may not get a huge tax cut if Romney is not elected.
Go Dems! The only party with brains!
Wished I lived in Missouri so I could vote for McCaskill. Since I don't, I sent a donation to her campaign. Stay strong and keep representing American women.
The appalling part of the GOP message here, is that they want Akin to step aside NOT because he just revealed he's an idiot, and Missouri deserves better, but because they might lose. Way to take the low road, guys.
Akin is a man of GUTS and COURAGE, I donot like his views on abortion. I think he is misguided about the female biological process. But I have to admire him. He should be running for president. Romney is not able to call the shots for himself yet alone tell Akin to drop out.
Only a religious freak or idiot would vote for atkins ,they should all go to Iran where they have the kind of government that you like !!!
For a politician, this lady has an amazing amount of class.
vote all repos out 2012 Forward
Go get em' Senator McCaskill ! The smart Missourians will support you. Hopefully we can save this country from idiocy
McCaskill's manner alone should be reason enough to re-elect her. She's taken the high road. So few politicians do that these days.