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.