(CBS News) Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Missouri, Todd Akin -- under a firestorm of criticism for his remark in August about "legitimate rape" -- just added fuel to the fire with a comment he made over the weekend about his opponent, incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Talking about McCaskill at an event in Springfield on Saturday, Akin said this: "She goes to Washington, D.C. and it's a little bit like, uh, you know, one of those dogs, you know, 'fetch.' And she goes to Washington, D.C., and gets all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri."
It was just over two months ago that Akin turned the national spotlight on this race. He was asked on a St. Louis television station whether women who become pregnant due to rape should have the option of abortion. He said at the time, "First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
That erased what had been a comfortable lead for Akin, as both Democrats and Republicans called for him to withdraw, and donors threw big time money behind McCaskill.
But the race remains close, in part because of questions about McCaskill. Akin recently charged that low income housing projects, partially owned by Joe Shepard, McCaskill's husband, and received $39 million of stimulus money from rent subsidies. And a whistleblower in the company said that Shepard used the Senate dining room to close the deals.
McCaskill vigorously denies those allegations and holds a slim lead in most recent polls. Akin and McCaskill have their final debate this Thursday night.
For Chip Reid's full report, watch the video in the player above.