Published October 23, 2012
Missouri Rep. Todd Akin -- already in hot water for comments about "legitimate rape" and women's biological ability to simply "shut down" unwanted pregnancies -- is under fire again for comparing Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democrat he is trying to unseat, to a dog.
"She goes to Washington, D.C., and it’s a little bit like, you know, one of those dog (tricks), you know, 'fetch,'" Akin said Saturday at a fundraiser.
Adding insult to insult, Akin adviser Rick Tyler weighed in Monday on Twitter, using an obscenity to describe what dog McCaskill would be, "if Claire McCaskill were a dog." (Tyler's answer: a combination of "bull" and "Shih Tzu.")
Akin sent his campaign into a tailspin in August with his “legitimate rape” remark during a TV interview. He lost donor support as well as the backing of many members of his own party.
But with Akin refusing to drop out of the Senate race, some support has returned, as Republicans still see McCaskill as one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.
The averaging of polls Tuesday by RealClearPolitics has McCaskill leading by 5 percentage points. The website had Akin up by as much as 5 points in late August.
The "dog" comment isn't likely to win him many points with women.
“She goes to Washington, D.C., and gets all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri,” Akin said Saturday at the Missouri fundraiser. “It seems to me that she’s got it just backwards. What we should be doing is taking the common sense that we see in Missouri and taking that to Washington, D.C., and blessing them with some solutions instead of more problems.”
Akin also raised eyebrows for saying McCaskill was not “ladylike” in her 2006 debates.
“Akin continues to offend women, anyone else with a sense of decency,” the McCaskill campaign said of Akin's dog comment.
McCaskill announced Tuesday that she is canceling campaign events for the remainder of the week to spend time with her critically ill mother.
A Campaign spokeswoman said McCaskill's 84-year-old mother, Betty Anne McCaskill, is in an intensive care unit of a St. Louis hospital.
McCaskill, a lawyer and one of President Obama’s strongest Capitol Hill supporters, has had her own problems – most recently that her husband, Joe Shepard, allegedly used the Senate dining room to close business deals involving federal tax credits.
"This is yet another example of Claire McCaskill using government resources for her personal gain," Akin said.
Last year, McCaskill admitted she failed to pay more than $300,000 in state property taxes on a private airplane she co-owned with her husband and other investors.
McCaskill also repaid the Treasure Department roughly $88,000 after Politico reported she used taxpayer money from her Senate office account to pay for nearly 90 flights on the plane, including one that was political related. A subsequent Senate ethics complaint was dismissed.