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Akin and McCaskill square off in first debate

(Akin: UPI Bill Greenblatt/McCaskill: Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Republican Congressman Todd Akin and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill met on stage for their first debate on Friday morning in Columbia. Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine joined the forum held by the Missouri Press Association.

The candidates for U.S. Senate wasted no time before trading jabs.

Akin criticized McCaskill for the growing national debt, as well as her vote for the Affordable Care Act, which is considerably unpopular in Missouri.

"It's pretty hard to say you're in favor of Medicare when you cut 700 billion from it," Akin said.

The 700 billion dollar claim has been repeated often in numerous campaigns. It's a claim Politifact rates "Mostly False."

The Affordable Care Act attempts to bring down the cost of Medicare over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost reduction would be around 700 billion dollars.

McCaskill retaliated by bringing up the farm bill, which she worked on with Republican Roy Blunt.

"In Missouri, what's more important than a farm bill? Our economy depends on it and it's sitting in the House."

Akin does not support the farm bill in its current form. In spite of this, Akin still enjoys an endorsement from the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

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