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McCaskill, Akin Face Off in First Debate McCaskill, Akin Face Off in First Debate

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McCaskill, Akin Face Off in First Debate

After addressing the Akin controversy in her answer to the question, McCaskill did not proactively bring it up again in the course of the debate -- possibly holding her fire until the drop-dead deadline for Akin to bow out of the race -- September 25 -- has passed. Akin seems unlikely to step aside at this late date. There were no notable missteps during the debate, in which the two largely stuck to their campaign themes: McCaskill hammered on Akin as extreme and herself as moderate, while Akin repeatedly emphasized a "less government" philosophy and tied McCaskill to President Obama, who is unpopular in the state. The candidates sparred over Obama's health care law: Akin said McCaskill wanted to take $700 billion out of Medicare, which McCaskill called "the biggest whopper of this campaign season." She retorted that the law "does not cut one dime in Medicare benefits," and that Akin had voted to cut that money repeatedly, when he voted for Paul Ryan's budget. As for Dine, his most memorable line might in the debate was probably his closing one: "I promise to keep the Republicans out of your bedroom, and the Democrats out of your wallet."

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