New McCaskill Ad Hammers Akin on Rape Views

Dan Friedman
National Journal

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is again hammering Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., on the subject of rape victims in a new television ad airing statewide in Missouri.

The 30-second spot cites McCaskill’s experience prosecuting rape cases and counseling victims to contrast her support for giving rape victims the option of emergency contraception with Akin’s opposition to offering that option in cases of rape and incest.

The ad was posted Saturday on McCaskill’s campaign website. A Democratic aide confirmed it is airing statewide. It indirectly cites Akin’s comment that women rarely become pregnant in cases of "legitimate rape." The ad's narrator states that "it's not what Todd Akin said. It's what he believes."

McCaskill used that line during the candidates’ first debate while also citing Akin’s position on emergency contraception. But the new ad contrasts an image of McCaskill as a tough prosecutor with compassion for victims with a suggestion that Akin lacks empathy for victims.

Though her campaign has not yet released an FEC report, McCaskill said last week that she raised an impressive $5.8 million in the third quarter of this year. Along with help from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has booked airtime in Missouri in coming weeks, that haul ensures Democrats can keep attacking Akin through election day. Akin, who has struggled to raise the funds to respond, has not announced third-quarter fundraising totals.

Here is the text of the new ad:

"As a prosecutor, Claire McCaskill put hundreds of predators behind bars, fought on behalf of victims, counseled survivors of sexual violence. It’s why Claire understands that survivors of rape deserve the option of emergency contraception whether they accept it or not. But Todd Akin opposes emergency contraception for victims of rape and incest. So it’s not what Todd Akin said. It’s what he believes."