Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill appeared Tuesday night on The Last Word for an exclusive interview regarding her race against Republican candidate Todd Akin. Asked by host Lawrence O'Donnell about Akin's infamous remark that most women cannot get pregnant from what he called "legitimate rape," McCaskill said this: "I don't think the problem is what Todd said; the problem is what Todd believes."
Akin's comments, McCaskill suggested, were only one manifestation of his hard-right ideology.
McCaskill pointed to a number of extremist comments Akin has made, including his claim that Medicare is unconstitutional, his assertion that the minimum wage should be abolished, his admission that "didn't like" social security, and his stated desire to eliminate federal funding for student loans.
The senator has just released a new ad hitting Akin on these positions, including the "legitimate rape" comment. "What will he say next?" the ad asks.
"It's not that Todd and I are that far apart, on opposite ends," McCaskill said. "I'm in the middle, and he is on the very edge."
Akin was also among a handful of Members of Congress who voted against a sex offender registry, against a child nutrition program, and against the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, she said.
McCaskill charged that Akin has never possessed good relations with other Republicans. "This is someone who has always operated on the fringe of his party," she said. To drive that point home, her campaign will be unveiling "Republicans for Claire," a group which includes prominent conservatives, such as former Republican Senator Kit Bond's former chief of staff.
"We're going to have a lot of Republicans helping us in this race," McCaskill said.