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(Jefferson City) (AP) – A conservative fundraising group backed embattled Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin with as much as $290,000 for his campaign Thursday. But Akin handed new fundraising fodder to his foes by suggesting that Sen. Claire McCaskill had behaved in a less “ladylike” manner than she has in the past.

Akin contrasted McCaskill’s demeanor in their first debate last week with her approach six years ago, saying that in running in 2006 against Jim Talent, she was more reserved, but “came out swinging” in her and Akin’s first debate.

Akin’s comment came moments after the Senate Conservatives Fund announced it was endorsing him, marking the highest-profile financial commitment Akin has netted since his campaign lost millions of dollars of planned advertising by other national groups that aid Republicans. Those groups withdrew their support after Akin remarked last month that women’s bodies have ways of averting pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which already has spent about $1 million on TV ads in Missouri, has reserved $4.3 million of additional advertising to begin running Oct. 9.

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