U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill went to Kansas City’s City Market early this morning and filled bags with sweet corn, sweet basil and sweet peaches.
But one can only take so much sweetness during an election season.
So the incumbent Democrat bought a gooseberry pie and then dished out a few sour words about her Republican opponent in November, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, who she says has turned his back on America’s farmers while they suffer through one of the harshest droughts in history.
“He’s never voted for a farm bill in his career,” McCaskill said of Akin as she stood next to a pickup loaded with sweet corn. “He sees it as interfering in the market. Well, our farmers are hurting. Agriculture is the biggest part of our state’s economy.”
Akin’s campaign responded immediately by pointing out that the Missouri Farm Bureau endorsed Akin over McCaskill.
“They recognize his commitment to Missouri agriculture and they understand his reasoning,” said Ryan Hite, a spokesman for Akin’s campaign.
Hite said Akin wants a “true” farm bill, one not burdened with extraneous items, such as nutrition programs. Akin has made clear his opposition to federal funding for school lunch programs, something McCaskill supports.
McCaskill’s stop at the City Market was part of the final leg of her six-day “Fighting for Our Farmers” barnstorm that took her mostly to rural communities across the state.
She stood out today since she was the only shopper telling everyone who she was as she made her way through the crowded pavilion — “Hi, I’m Claire.”
Most seemed happy to see her. Some asked for pictures with her. Others told her they loved her and to keep up the good work.
With daughter Maddie along to help carry produce, McCaskill also bought okra, blackberries, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts.
At one point a man approached her about a problem he was having with the Veteran’s Administration. An aide took his name and phone number. Another man told McCaskill that it broke his heart to see the unflattering photos of her used in her opponent’s ads.
She thanked him and jokingly pleaded, “Will you please tell people I’m not that fat and ugly?”