POLITICS

Claire McCaskill Ad Criticizes Todd Akin For Comparing Student Loans To Stage 3 Cancer

08/14/2012 12:28 pm ET | Updated Aug 14, 2012

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) resurrected Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) infamous comparison of student loans to stage three cancer in a new ad released by her campaign on Tuesday.

The ad, titled "Stage 3," features Missouri students reacting to Akin's remark, made during a policy debate in April 2012, that "America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in."

Student loans "make all the difference to students like me," says one student in the ad. "Missouri students deserve better," another student says.

The commercial, which airs statewide, is part of McCaskill's bid to paint Akin, McCaskill's challenger for her Senate seat, as an extreme conservative. It comes just one day after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee challenged Akin over his support for the privatization of Social Security and how that might impact seniors' retirement plans.

Akin responded to the DSCC by issuing his own ad Tuesday morning, knocking McCaskill over her support for the president's health care law.

Akin's student loan comments were made as the issue of whether or not to pass an extension of a student loan bill, set to expire in July, garnered widespread attention. The congressman has consistently opposed federal student loans and voted against the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act in 2009.

Soon after Akin made the comments, President Barack Obama made fun of his remarks. While on a three-state college tour, the president highlighted the fact that if Congress failed to act on the bill, student loan interest rates would double to 6.8 percent.

"I'm always interested in how folks talk about this issue," Obama had said. "You've got one member of Congress who compared student loans -- I'm not kidding here -- to a stage three cancer of socialism."

"I don't know where to start? What do you mean? What are you talking about? Come on!" he added, at one point laughing at Akin's remark. "Just when you think you've heard it all in Washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end."

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