Mo. Sen. McCaskill accuses Akin of being extreme

LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is telling Republican-leaning rural Missourians that challenger Todd Akin would be part of "a very small caucus of extremists" if elected to the U.S. Senate.

She used a high school in Lebanon as a backdrop Thursday to emphasize Rep. Akin's desire to abolish the federal department of education.

Akin was focused Thursday on fundraising and private meetings. But the Republican-leaning Now or Never Political Action Committee has come to his defense with an ad urging supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to also vote for Akin.

McCaskill called the ad "ironic." She noted that Romney had called on Akin to quit after Akin remarked in August that women's bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy in what he described as "legitimate rape."