Missouri Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill has finally revealed the Democratic colleagues in the Senate she believes are the “crazy” ones, after telling voters last week in an act of desperation that she’s not among the more insane members of her party: Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
She also took a potshot at political protesters, specifically the kind who’ve been running Republican legislators out of Washington, D.C. restaurants.
Late Monday, Fox News’s Bret Baier asked McCaskill to clarify statements made in a radio interview her campaign released last week. At first, she politely demurred, perhaps knowing that Democrats in her own state had recoiled against the campaign ad, assuming Claire was talking about them, and she pointed her criticism at progressive activists instead.
“The crazy Democrats are people who walk in restaurants and scream in elected officials’ faces. The crazy democrats are — we have a state senator here in Missouri that actually advocated for the assassination of President Trump. That’s a crazy Democrat,” McCaskill told Baier.
“I don’t do those things. I am not somebody who thinks we should ever be uncivil. I think what most Missourians want is for us to listen to each other, figure out where we can compromise, not scream in each other’s faces, not call each other names, so I’m really talking about civility here. I’m talking about being polite, having good manners,” she added.
That didn’t answer Baier’s question, so he pressed again, and this time, McCaskill came up with two names.
“I would not call my colleagues crazy, but Elizabeth Warren sure went after me when I advocated tooling back some of the regulations for small banks and credit unions,” McCaskill responded.
And then she went after Sanders: “I certainly disagree with Bernie Sanders on a bunch of stuff, um, so I’m not afraid. So I don’t know those kinds of things which do separate me, I think, from some of the knee-jerk folks that just are against the president no matter what.”
McCaskill is clearly trying to distance herself from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party — or, at least, what passes for the “progressive wing” (Warren is now campaigning on being a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist, unlike her younger, progressive colleagues, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), but it may not work. McCaskill isn’t a Trump administration-aligned Democrat like, say, West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, or really even much of a moderate.
In fact, according to legislative recorders, she’s on the same side as Warren and Sanders, at least 60% of the time.
And as for Warren, well, The Washington Free Beacon points out that McCaskill may have problems with Warren’s rhetoric, but she has no problem with Warren’s money.
“FEC records show McCaskill’s campaign accepted $10,000 from Warren’s PAC For A Level Playing Field,” they reported.
McCaskill isn’t doing well in the polls, and her lead seems to have completely diminished following last week’s controversial ad, which left one of McCaskill’s in-state Democratic rivals suggesting McCaskill wants Missouri Democrats to fight down vomit and cast their ballots.
A Missouri poll taken just last week shows McCaskill now four points behind Republican Josh Hawley (the state’s current Attorney General) — and that’s one of the polls more favorable to McCaskill. After leading for most of the race, she slipped to first two points, then four points, and — in some polls — now six points behind her Republican challenger, in a battle for a seat that she’s held for several terms.
McCaskill’s desperation is good news for Republicans who are looking to hold on to at least one of the houses of Congress in the November midterm elections; it could indicate that Republicans will not just retain a static Senate, but make a handful of gains.