Relying on many of the same themes he used when he declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Wildwood) spoke Thursday at an event sponsored by Citizens Alliance for Missouri Patriots in South St. Louis County.
Akin and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman are the two declared GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Claire McCaskill. Akin made no reference to the controversy which has simmered around him since his recent remarks in a radio interview.
In the interview with the Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Akin said, "at the heart of liberalism, really, is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God."
Akin was discussing NBC's redaction of "under God" from its broadcast of the pledge of allegiance during the U.S. Open on June 19.
The congressman released a statement Tuesday saying those comments weren't directed at individuals but rather Liberalism as a political movement.
"If my statement gave a different impression, I offer my apologies," he said. “My point was to object to the systematic assault that attempts to remove any reference to God from the public square."
A group of tried to deliver a petition to Akin in person on Wednesday. They instead met with a member of Akin's staff.
Focus on rival, debt negotiations
Thursday night Akin told the crowd his record as a Conservative offers an alternative to McCaskill. He took two questions from the audience, one on the continuing debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling, the other on Israel.
Akin urged House Speaker John Boehner to go for a hard bargain in negotiations.
"We need to precipitate a situation where everybody is sober and is ready to deal with the excessive spending that's going on." Akin said.
He added that he supports a federal version of Missouri's Hancock Amendment, indexing the size of government to the nation's Gross Domestic Product, as a way of restoring "fiscal sanity".
No answers for local media
He refused to answer media questions as he left the event and made his way to the parking lot. When pressed as to why he would not answer questions, Akin said the event, which was slated to begin at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m., had run two hours late.
The candidate pulled out of the parking lot by 9:45 p.m.
Patch Local Editors Aja Junior and Rachel Heaton contributed to this story.