The major party candidates in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race square off on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” covering such issues as the war on terrorism, the situation in Iraq, stem cell research, and the scandal over sexually suggestive e-mails sent to Congressional pages by former Congressman Mark Foley of Florida. Host Tim Russert asked incumbent Republican Senator Jim Talent whether he’s comfortable with with House Speaker Dennis Hastert holding onto that job. Talent says it’s important to wait for completion of the investigation that has been launched before asking that someone step down. Asked about the Foley controversy, McCaskill has her mind made. She doesn’t want to wait for the outcome of the investigation. She believes Hastert should resign now. On Iraq, Talent insisted the U.S. military must maintain a meaningful presence until such time as the Iraqi military is ready to take control of the situation. McCaskill says that while the U.S. should not set an artificial deadline for withdrawal, it must redeploy forces to such places as Afghanistan to further fight the war on terrorism. she says terrorists are being created around the world as a result of the failed policy in Iraq. Discussion of the stem cell issue saw Talent reitterating his position that he favors research that protects against human cloning. McCaskill claims this country has never turned its back on medical research, and Missouri should not turn its back. The two candidates debate again, Wednesday night, in St. Louis.
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