Akin aide uses profanity in shot at McCaskill

Todd Akin speaks at a rally in Rolla Wednesday afternoon.

"She goes to Washington, D.C., and it's a little bit like, you know, one of those dog (games), 'fetch,'" Akin said at a Saturday night fundraiser, in comments recorded by the PoliticMo.com web site.

"She goes to Washington, D.C., and gets all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri," Akin added. "And it seems to me that she's got it just backwards. What we should be doing is taking the common sense that we see in Missouri and taking that to Washington, D.C., and blessing them with some solutions instead of more problems."

McCaskill, at a rally of supporters in Festus, didn't address the dog comment but said her campaign strategy for the final two weeks before the election is to "just keep Todd Akin talking." Afterward, she told reporters the comment was "unfortunate."

Later Monday, Akin senior campaign adviser Rick Tyler tweeted, "If Claire McCaskill were a dog, she'd be a 'Bullshitsu.' "

Tyler, reached by telephone, said, "It was a joke. Get it?" He said the focus should be on real issues such as the rising debt and stimulus money going to McCaskill's family. That was a reference to an earlier Associated Press story that found that businesses affiliated with McCaskill's husband had received almost $40 million of federal housing subsidies during her first five years in office.

After learning of the Tyler tweet, McCaskill campaign spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki said, "We'll leave it to Missouri's voters to make judgments about the language being used by Todd Akin's campaign. But I think Claire said this morning that their recent tone has certainly been disappointing."

Her campaign cited the dog comment in an email to reporters titled: "Akin continues to offend women, anyone else with a sense of decency."

Akin and McCaskill are locked in a fierce battle, with Republicans searching for the four seats the party needs to win the Senate majority on Nov. 6. That goal, once considered attainable, has grown more uncertain in part because of Akin's remark that women's bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." The comment improved McCaskill's odds, too. She was at one time considered the most vulnerable Senate Democrat up for re-election.

Akin has apologized repeatedly for the rape comment and defied calls to leave the race by leaders of his own party, from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on down. Some Missouri Republican leaders and other senators not up for re-election this year have helped Akin raise campaign cash.