Posted: Aug 25, 2012 7:02 PM by Stacey Welsh
Updated: Sep 28, 2012 12:34 PM
COLUMBIA - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) visited VFW Post 280 in Columbia Saturday afternoon as part of her "Vets for Claire" statewide tour. McCaskill told veterans and supporters she would support veterans through legislation, and her opponent Congressman Todd Akin has voted against veterans programs and spending.
McCaskill said since she has served in the Senate, veteran funding increased from $79 billion in 2007 to a record $129 billion for veterans and veterans benefits in 2012. She said she has voted to increase educational opportunities for veterans and expand health care access for rural veterans.
McCaskill also commented on Akin's decision to stay in the Senate race following his controversial comments on rape and pregnancy. "The voters in the Republican primary have nominated Todd Akin to run this race. I'll look forward to a spirited campaign and drawing a lot of major contrasts between Todd Akin and I," McCaskill told reporters.
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch poll puts Akin nine points behind McCaskill Saturday, and a previous poll ranked him ahead. McCaskill said she is trying not to pay too much attention to the latest numbers. "I'll take all these polls with a big grain of salt, and frankly, Missourians don't care about that," McCaskill said. "Akin is a pleasant and sincere man, but his views are not pleasant and sincere for Missouri families."
Despite Akin's remarks, McCaskill said her campaign ads will not change dramatically to play off of the controversy. "My campaign is pretty clear. We have stark differences on Medicare. I want to protect it. He wants to privatize it... I believe the minimum wage is an important part of the middle class. He wants to abolish it," McCaskill said.
This campaign event comes one day after Akin held a press conference in Chesterfield, Mo. to reaffirm he is sticking out the race through Nov. 6.