By Art Holliday
Clayton, MO (KSDK) - NewsChannel 5's Art Holliday was a panelist for the U.S. Senate debate Thursday night, and he also got the first reaction from the candidates.
By now the candidates are used to jabbing each other. Senator McCaskill pointed out Congressman Akin's votes to raise his own pay, while also voting to cut spending for military veterans and school lunches.
Congressman Akin repeatedly talked about McCaskill's votes in favor of Obamacare.
Whether railing against big government's impact on small business or sparring over education, Sen. McCaskill and Rep. Todd Akin continued to point out the sharp contrasts in the direction they want to take the country.
During their closing comments where there was no chance for rebuttal, Rep. Akin seemed to accuse the senator of financial impropriety.
"She has gotten rich by making a business that takes advantage of people being in poverty. She transferred $39 million to her home business, and there was no record of transparency whatsoever," he said.
"It's not his style, and I'm surprised he did it. Usually he's been the type of candidate that's been up front and didn't try to sneak something in at the end that he knew I wouldn't have a chance to talk about. But I think the debate went fine. I think I had a chance to draw some real contrasts," said McCaskill.
"The main message is that big government solutions are basically choking America, and we can't afford driving big government any bigger. We're $1.5 trillion over what we can afford in the first year and it just can't go on," said Akin.
After our post-debate interview with Rep. Akin he declined to talk to other reporters waiting to speak with him.
An interesting comment from Claire McCaskill: when talking about her support of pay equality, McCaskill said that Akin pays women staff members 23 percent less than male employees.