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Senate Hopefuls Make Final Pitches

Oct 19, 2012
Originally published on October 19, 2012 5:12 pm
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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Candidates in a handful of other close Senate races squared off in their final debates last night. We're going to hear some of what they had to say in three states: Virginia, Connecticut and - first - Missouri.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last night in a St. Louis suburb, Republican Congressman Todd Akin's controversial remarks about what he called legitimate rape did not explicitly come up as he debated Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill. McCaskill was asked this question, eliciting laughter from the audience: What will the national press say about Missouri voters if your opponent is elected? Her answer: I don't really care.

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BLOCK: In his response, Congressman Akin took issue with that characterization of him as out of touch with most Missourians.

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BLOCK: That's Senate candidate Todd Akin, a Republican, debating Democrat Claire McCaskill in Missouri last night.

SIEGEL: Now on to Virginia. Two former governors, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen, who was a U.S. senator, met on the campus of Virginia Tech, and they debated their stances on taxes, defense cuts and deficit reduction, though, as moderator Jay Warren pointed out, those stances were not always clear. Here he is pressing George Allen on a question about the plan to reduce the national debt proposed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

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SIEGEL: That's from last night's Virginia U.S. Senate debate between Democratic Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen.

BLOCK: Finally, in Hartford, Connecticut, Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Chris Murphy were asked this question.

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BLOCK: Murphy, a three-term congressman, managed to come up with these words about his opponent, a former professional wrestling executive.

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SIEGEL: And as for what nice things Linda McMahon had to say about Chris Murphy...

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SIEGEL: Which could be construed as an endorsement of his parenting, though Chris Murphy later said most of the credit belongs to his wife. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.