McCaskill: Akin so extreme, other conservative looks like a 'hippie'
September 28th, 2012
09:11 PM ET
10 years ago

McCaskill: Akin so extreme, other conservative looks like a 'hippie'

(CNN) – Sen. Claire McCaskill fired back Friday at Rep. Todd Akin over his recent characterization of her as less "ladylike" in the pair’s current senatorial election than she was in her last, dismissing her Republican foe as an outlier even in right-wing circles.

"I was speechless," the senator said in an interview with MSNBC, referring to Akin’s latest comments. "I mean, this is somebody who does make Michele Bachmann look like a hippie. He is that far on the fringe."

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Bachmann is a congresswoman from Minnesota and tea party favorite who ran for this year’s Republican presidential nomination.

McCaskill described Akin as being "very extreme" and said he was not ready for last Friday's debate.

"I don't think he was prepared for me confronting him with things like him being one of the handful of people to vote against the child nutrition program and voting against a sex offender registry and voting against a Center for Missing and Exploited Children," she said in the interview.

On Thursday, Akin spoke to reporters about the debate and race. The congressman said he is confident he will win, in part because he thinks McCaskill is nervous.

"I think we have a very clear path to victory, and apparently Claire McCaskill thinks we do, too, because she was very aggressive at the debate, which was quite different than it was when she ran against Jim Talent," he said, citing the GOP incumbent McCaskill defeated in 2006.

"She had a confidence and was much more ladylike, but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that's because she feels threatened," Akin continued.

In her interview Friday, McCaskill suggested Akin's comment had sexist undertones.

"I think that saying I was unladylike is a code word for that, you know, women shouldn't be strong and that we should be more deferential,” she said. “I think that's probably what he was getting at.”

A number of Republicans urged Akin to leave the race earlier this month after he made comments about "legitimate rape" – contending that doctors told him women’s bodies could somehow prevent unwanted pregnancies, for which he later apologized. But the congressman didn’t back down, expressing his determination to stay in the race and win the seat.

Earlier on Friday, Kellyanne Conway - a consultant for Akin - compared the candidate's resilience to cult leader David Koresh's standoff with federal authorities in 1993. Akin was able to brave the aftermath of the controversial rape comments, and show his resilience in the process, Conway said on a radio show hosted by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

The non-partisan Cook Political Report says McCaskill will likely win reelection in November, and the Rothenberg Political Report says the race currently leans in her direction.

- CNN's Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Claire McCaskill • Michele Bachmann • Missouri
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Larry in Houston

    makes bachman look like a hippie ? LOL – good luck Claire – – you should be able to defeat him by a landslide.
    Vote Democrat – 2012

    September 28, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  2. jmmjr49er

    Claire missed Obama's memo on civility. So classy. Claire is Obama's best GF in all of Missouri.

    September 28, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. RogueRobots

    Even though I live in PA, I felt compelled to send a donation to McCaskill to help her in fighting for the rights of women. I feel even more certain than ever that my money will have been well spent when Akin is soundly defeated. What a representative of the right wing lunatic GOP Taliban Tea Party cult fringe he is. Nice to see that he writes off Missouri's children as well as their mothers. What a family values kind of guy.

    September 28, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  4. Roberto

    FOX News!!! FOX News!!! Please, jump on this one. This is great for the Republicans! Todd Akin and David Koresh, both mentioned in the same context and almost in the same sentence. Tony Perkins...I'm awaiting your response. Yep! This should give the Republicans a BIG bounce and put Romney right over the top! Todd, do you need a box of Kleenex? Those tears must be putting alligators to shame. If they aren't, they should be.

    September 28, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  5. McBuzzkill

    She makes Barbara Mikulski look like Jessica Alba, and Whoopi Goldber look like Rush Limbaugh

    September 28, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Karl Jonas

    Koresh? Yeah, how well did that turn out?

    September 29, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  7. Thomas

    Id say he's so ignorant and stupid ,he makes other conservatives look like angry resentful spineless idiots . That

    Any human being who would stand along side such a candidate is like a jellyfish ,

    How can the United States of America have such persons governing or legislating ?

    Todd Akin is living proof , we evolved from monkeys and we have a long way to go.


    September 29, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  8. David Mann

    A very reasonable comparison. Akin is every bit as weird as the Waco Wacko. "legitimate rape"??? To vote for Akin you must be anti-science, anti-gay, anti-Islamic, anti-women, stubbornly Republican or just plain stupid.

    September 29, 2012 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  9. Pro Choice

    AKIN is a nut job.

    September 29, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  10. GonzoinHouston

    It's all over but the shouting.

    September 29, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  11. Larry L

    Todd Akin is exactly what the modern Republican has become – a mindless, right-wing bigot. The Party is too far to the ultra-right-wing for most Americans and they're paying the price at the polls.

    September 29, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    Rep. Todd Akin represents 100% of GOP views so now GOP supporting Rep. Todd Akin over Romney

    September 29, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. fernace

    Or it could be that Talent was more "gentlemanly" & McCaskill didn't need to get "rowdy," as opposed to Akin who, like most extremes, doubles down on his scientifically unsound theories! He definitely needs a more un-ladylike, gloves off, in-yo-face approach!! Some like the "extremely nutty" edge of politics, as I'v heard lately from people (anarchy, martial law, Armageddon), but that's why we need sane leaders from both parties & a better representation from independent parties! Running for office should not be a luxury, for the 1% only, as it is now!! Obama stands for we the people, Nov6!

    September 29, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Mike

    Missouri voters are tried of being called left-wing by folks from Kansas. Todd Akin is just the kind of U.S. Senator that will give Missouri a chance to drive the clown car for the next six years.

    September 29, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Ex-GOP Con

    From Akin's comments I now see why Santorum and Huckabee support him. They probably too believe women need to be more "ladylike".

    September 29, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |