Akin and McCaskill face off - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Akin and McCaskill face off

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COLUMBIA, MO (KFVS) -

Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Republican Congressman Todd Akin faced off in Columbia.

The two candidates debated topics higher education, fiscal responsibility and health care among other topics.

Akin has apologized for some recent comments on a St. Louis TV station. In light of that, the moderator asked both candidates, to what extend should voters consider Akin's comments saying women's bodies can shut down pregnancy during a "legitimate rape."

"I don't believe this election over all is about talk, it's really about two visions of what America is, are we going to go down the path of Greece that constantly has a bigger government, always taxing more and basically destroying their economy or are we going to go the path that America has been on, a path where we allow freedom, a path where we allow the American dream to flourish, where we don't crush it under the burden of Washington DC, and that's the choice of two different Americas, now it seems to me that what a senator should be doing is taking the common sense that you and I know that's here in Missouri, and taking that to Washington DC, instead of dragging all of this stuff from Washington DC and dumping it on to the state of Missouri, and killing jobs destroying our economy and crushing the American dream, that's what this election is really about, it's not about words, it's about two different voting records that are the exact opposite. Claire can say that she's a 50 percenter, but when you vote with 98 percent of the time with Obama and then tell us that you're a regular middle of the roader, that takes a lot of guts," said Akin.

"I think Congressman Akin's comments opened the window to his views for Missourians, he has apologized for his comments, but they say a lot about how he views things and that's where Missourians need to pay attention," said McCaskill. "I believe a rape victim should be allowed to have emergency contraception in order to avoid pregnancy, Todd Akin does not, I believe his view is extreme and out of the mainstream for most Missourians."

The two also discussed their views on the government's role in Medicare and student loans.

"If you don't believe the federal government should do everything, it doesn't mean that you don't believe in it. The question is do you want the Federal government to take over everything that's important, I don't think so. My comments about student loans were why don't we leave it the way it was a couple years ago where private lenders could be involved in student loans, just because you believe in private lenders doesn't mean you don't believe in student loans. Or school lunches, is it ok to say maybe that should be done by the state of Missouri, doesn't mean you're against school lunches if you don't want the Federal government to do it. The mind set here is the Federal government has to do everything for us all the time. you want to talk about Medicare, let's talk about votes, let's talk about somebody who voted to take 700 billion dollars out of Medicare, and then wants to crusade as the big hero of Medicare. I don't understand that," said Akin.

"No one's saying private lenders can't lend to students, they can do that right now. They just didn't want to do it unless the Federal government was backing them up and they were making a cut off of it. So all we did say was take out the middle man who's taking a cut with no risk, I would think Congressman Akin would appreciate that, and put that money towards helping more students, no one's keeping banks from loaning to students now," said McCaskill. "Secondly, on the Medicare cuts, this is the biggest whopper of this campaign season, it is unbelievable to me that Congressman Akin would vote time and time again for those same 700 billion in Medicare savings, as President Clinton says it takes a lot of brass to be against something that you're for, he knows that the Ryan budget took that same savings, but you know what they did with the savings, they gave another tax cut to Kim Kardashian, they gave another tax cut to Lebron James, they gave another tax cut to Donald Trump, instead of doing what we need to do with that money and that is strengthening the Medicare program."

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