McCaskill, Akin and Dine face off in first Mo. Senate debate

Sep 21, 2012

KBIA ran live coverage of today’s Senatorial debate between incumbent US Senator Claire McCaskill and US Representative Todd Akin from 10:45AM to noon. 

As many expected, the debate began with the question about Akin’s previous comments on rape and pregnancy. Akin said he already apologized many times, and then moved away from the subject, while Dine called Akin’s views a failure to understand 8thgrade biology, and McCaskill said it’s an indicator of his stance on other issues 

“I think Congressman Akin’s comments opened the window to his views for Missourians. He’s apologized for those comments, but they say a lot about how he views things, and that’s where Missourians have to pay attention,” McCaskill said.

The debate turned to other issues such as health care, the state’s budget, and higher education. McCaskill said she wants to keep the Pell Grant program, and keep tuition down by raising the cigarette tax. Akin, on the other hand, said the government’s involvement in higher education will only make things worse for students.

“So, we’re putting people in an incredible vice by the government using more and more money to do things, killing jobs, and then facing kids with an impossible choice do you want an education but can’t pay for it,” Akin said.

As of September 11 a Rasmussun Reports poll says McCaskill leads Akin 49 percent to 43 percent.

The debate was moderated by Associated Press journalist David Lieb, with questions from regional journalists including students at the Missouri School of Journalism.  Afterwards, KCUR’s Steve Kraske provided analysis of the debates along with the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and KBIA’s Ryan Famuliner.  

Click above for the full audio of the senatorial debate.

The David Spence and Jay Nixon came together for a gubernatorial debate earlier in the morning.  We've also got audio of that right here: 

More coverage of today's events in the KBIA afternoon newscast.