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No Surprises in Final Missouri Senate Debate

Sen. Claire McCaskill and Rep. Todd Akin stuck to their talking points during the debate at Clayton High School.

In the final debate between Missouri Senate candidates Claire McCaskill and Todd Akin, sharply worded barbs flew as the candidates pushed their talking points. 

Sen. McCaskill painted the race as one between a moderate vs. extremist. Rep. Akin pushed McCaskill as someone who votes with President Barack Obama "98 percent of the time."

The debate, moderated by Mike Bush of KSDK and held at Clayton High School, featured one question each from a panel of local media, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce and a Clayton High School journalism student. Questions from the audience were then read.

Akin's "legitimate rape" comment from August, which dominated the political scene and brought national attention to the race, was not directly mentioned by either candidate. The issue was indirectly mentioned when Art Holliday of KSDK asked McCaskill what the national press would say if her Republican opponent won the race.

McCaskill said she was concerned with Missourians and not with what the national press had to say.

"If I lose, I’ll hate it because I want our government to reflect our values," she said. "I think Congressman Akin's view is very narrow and it leaves a lot of people out."

Akin responded by saying that after traveling around the state campaigning to unseat his Democratic rival over the past 18 months, he believes his views are "very much in sync" with that of other Missourians.

Other topics included small business, education, wind power in the state and foreign policy.

When asked about the current unrest between Iran and Israel, Akin called the situation a "ticklish one."

"We need to work with our allies and stop apologizing to our enemies," he said.

McCaskill took issue with Akin's remark that the United States was leading from behind. She said sanctions are working in Iran.

"This is tough — we are navigating in a difficult area," she said. 

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