(CBS News) Despite the fact that he's alienated a good chunk of the Republican party with his inflammatory comments about rape and pregnancy, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin took a shot at his opponent's "aggressive" behavior on Thursday, noting that she "was much more ladylike" the last time she ran for office.
Akin, who in August incited the disbelief of Democrats and Republicans alike when he suggested in a radio interview that pregnancy does not result from a "legitimate rape," is challenging incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill for her seat.
According to the Kansas City Star, the embattled candidate expressed confidence he will win the contest because McCaskill has demonstrated "aggressive" behavior, which he used as evidence that she "feels threatened."
"I think we have a very clear path to victory, and apparently Claire McCaskill thinks we do, too, because she was very aggressive at the debate, which was quite different than it was when she ran against Jim Talent," Akin said. "She had a confidence and was much more ladylike [in 2006], but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that's because she feels threatened."
Even as he takes heat for his behavior, Akin argued Thursday that McCaskill is "out of step badly" with the state of Missouri.
"Her voting record just doesn't fit," he said.
Tuesday was the final day Akin could legally withdraw from the contest. After he announced his intention to stay in the race, some conservative groups - including one led by former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and one helmed by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint -- announced that they would. And while the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the organizing arm to elect Republicans in the Senate, had said it was pulling its pledged $5 million from Akin's race, it is now reconsidering
In response to Akin's remarks today, Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, called for the national Republican party to condemn Akin's latest remarks. If it doesn't, she said in a statement, "every Republican candidate in the country will be held accountable for their support of Akin's beliefs and sentiments."