(CBS News) After making yet another set of controversial gender-related remarks on Thursday, the backlash against Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin continues - with Democrats blasting him as a "fringe" candidate and a key Republican calling the race "unwinnable" for the GOP.
On Thursday, Akin took a shot at his opponent, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, for what he called her "aggressive" behavior --. He also argued he'll win the race because the fact that she demonstrated "aggressive" behavior signals, in his eyes, that McCaskill "feels threatened."
McCaskill responded to his comments on Friday, telling MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that she's "at a loss" for what to say about them.
"I don't know exactly what his accusation that I'm not ladylike means," McCaskill said. "I'm a former courtroom prosecutor and I try to be strong and informed. And I think the debate was tough for Todd, because I went through the list of his very, very extreme positions and I think that maybe he wasn't prepared to answer to some of that, and so they went back to, I think, that old, 'Gosh she was mean and unladylike.'"
Expressing the hope that his remarks would motivate her supporters, McCaskill targeted Akin as a "fringe" candidate who would never works to solve problems through compromise.
"If you look at some of the things that Todd Akin has said over the years... this is somebody who kind of makes Michele Bachmann look like a hippie," she said. "He is very much in a group of people that would never be part of the compromise that we need to find to address the fiscal cliff. He would never be part of the group in the middle that actually figures out ways to solve these problems."
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a fellow Democrat, sent out a fundraising email to her own supporters on Friday, urging them to help defeat a candidate who made the "demeaning, but not surprising" comment.
"When I first heard Akin defending his absolutist stance against abortion, I was shocked. He actually said that 'the female body has ways to try to shut that whole [pregnancy] thing down,'" Gillibrand's letter reads, referring to the controversial comments Akin made in August. "I hoped those words would make it impossible for him to win. But when you've got a Republican Party that will do anything to win the Senate, they'll support anyone with an 'R' after their name - no matter how reprehensible his beliefs."
"That means it's up to us - you and me - to make sure Todd Akin does not win in Missouri. But we have to do it now, before the big September 30 FEC filing deadline. We really don't have a minute to lose," the letter says.
Despite some recent talk of renewed Republican support for Akin -
"We have no plans to do so," Cornyn told the Kentucky Courier-Journal. "I just think that this is not a winnable race... We have to make tough calculations based on limited resources and where to allocate it, where it will have the best likelihood of electing a Republican senator."