Political Potpourri: Senate Candidate Akin Uses Obama Criticism To Fund Campaign; McCaskill Has New Ad

Pending student loan legislation is a source of controversy in the race to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Wildwood) got some press in late April after President Barack Obama alluded to the U.S. Senate hopeful’s comments about government-backed student loans.

At a debate in Columbia, Akin said the following about pending student loan legislation: "America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in. So first, to answer your question precisely, what the democrats did to get rid of the private student loans and take it all over by the government was wrong, it was a lousy bill, that's why I voted 'no.'"

Soon after Akin made that statement, Obama told a crowd at the University of Iowa that “you’ve got one member of Congress who compared these student loans, I'm not kidding here, to a 'stage-three cancer of socialism.'”

“Stage three cancer? Come on,” Obama said. “Just when you think you've heard it all in Washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end."

Akin claimed that Obama had misquoted his remarks, noting that the "cancer infecting our society today is not student loans themselves, but the massive expansion of federal government into every sector of private business.” This week, Akin highlighted the flap in an e-mail asking for donations to his U.S. Senate campaign.

It wasn't just the White House correspondents’ dinner that had Obama laughing last week; he also seemed to enjoy misquoting and mocking my conservative stand,” Akin wrote in the e-mail. “Obama singled out my comment in a recent stump speech at the University of Iowa. He is shocked that someone would stand against the federal government being involved in everything.”

Akin, of course, is locked in a Republican primary against former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Frontenac businessman John Brunner. The winner of that August primary will likely face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November.

McCaskill on the air 

Speaking of McCaskill, her campaign released a new advertisement Wednesday attacking recent television ads from conservative-leaning third party organizations. Entitled “Back Again,” the spot argues that the groups attacking her are protective of “Washington special interests.”

"What Missourians need to know is that these Washington special interests aren't just trying to silence Claire, they're spending millions to distort Claire's record because they know the other candidates in this race would be a rubber stamp for their special interest agenda,” said Adrianne Marsh, McCaskill’s campaign manager, in a statement. “Whether it's protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, ending Medicare as we know it or privatizing student loans, Claire's never been afraid to step on big toes in Washington and she'll never stop fighting for Missouri's middle class families."

While MCaskill has built up a substantial financial reserve in her bid for re-election, the aforementioned third party groups have been constantly attacking McCaskill through the airwaves. McCaskill’s response to these ads was recently the subject of a New York Times editorial.

The piece noted that while ““super PACs” and secretive independent groups will be spending hundreds of millions on the presidential race, it is at the Congressional level where big money can have the most impact.”

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