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      Senator Claire McCaskill campaigns in Macon

      Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks to supporters in Macon, Missouri.

      In an exclusive interview with KTVO, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill shared her thoughts on various issues facing her in her bid for re-election, and also Missouri as a whole.

      McCaskill announced earlier this week that she would not attend the Democratic Convention later this fall, in order to campaign in Missouri. She shared with us her thoughts on why she made that decision.

      "I think it is way more important that I work and campaign in Missouri for that period of time. I think the party convention is kind of a luxury, and I don't think it is a luxury that I can afford this time," said McCaskill.

      Currently McCaskill has three challengers in the Missouri Senate race; she feels that her record and her ability to reach across the aisle will appeal to voters in the Heartland.

      "Frankly, there is not a lot of difference between the three. They are all against the farm bill. They are all against the highway bill. They all want to privatize Medicare. They all want to privatize social security. So once there is one candidate, we can start getting that information out there. And people comparing the two, moderate independent versus somebody who is pretty extreme, I feel pretty good about where we are," said McCaskill.

      "I am independent. I went to Washington and fought my party on earmarks and by the way, I won that battle. I was the only member of the Missouri delegation to fight earmarks, republican or democrat. I went and fought for spending caps. Both of the leading candidates for vice president on the republican side, wanted to work with me on bills. I think this is about working with each other and finding middle ground. It is not about saying we are right and they are wrong. It is about what we can agree on, that is what I want Missourians to know about my record. Yes, I am a democrat. Yes, I support President Obama. But I am not afraid to say "no" to my party. I am not afraid to say "no" to my president. I will do what I think is the right thing for Missouri," said McCaskill.

      McCaskill announced at the event that she will be opening a campaign office in Kirksville in the coming weeks, and plans to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony.