Claire McCaskill Defines ‘Crazy Democrats’ for Fox News

Vulnerable senator stiff-arms Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren as election nears

Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill distanced herself from Senate colleagues Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders  in a Fox News interview Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill distanced herself from Senate colleagues Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders  in a Fox News interview Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted October 30, 2018 at 8:51am

One week before the midterm elections, Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has tried to distance herself from the most liberal elements of her party, including high-profile progressive Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

McCaskill refrained from grouping Sanders or Warren in with the “crazy Democrats” her campaign distanced her from in a radio ad last week. But, in an interview with Fox News on Monday, she invoked their names when asked if any of her colleagues were “crazy Democrats.”

“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 said.

Warren has long been an advocate for tighter restrictions on banks after the housing and financial crisis of 2007-2008. She excoriated Republicans and “far too many Democrats” for rolling back segments of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 that slapped regulations on banks after the financial crisis.

In her Fox interview, McCaskill also mentioned Sanders, a Vermont independent, as a Democrat with a large following from whom she is not afraid to distance herself.

McCaskill, one of 10 Democratic Senate incumbents running for re-election this year in a state Trump won in 2016, is locked in a tight battle with GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.

McCaskill trailed Hawley, 49 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters in a poll released last week by Missouri Scout. Hawley’s edge fell within the survey’s margin of error.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Republican.

In a radio advertisement from McCaskill’s campaign last week, a narrator assured voters that the senator is “not one of those crazy Democrats.”

Who are those, exactly?

“The crazy Democrats are people who walk in restaurants and scream in elected officials’ faces,” McCaskill said in the Fox interview, referring to two separate incidents in which progressive activists have spontaneously begun shouting at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz while they were dining.

“We have a state senator here in Missouri that actually advocated for the assassination of President Trump. That’s a crazy Democrat,” McCaskill said.

Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal was reprimanded for the comment.

“I don’t do those things,” McCaskill said. “I am not somebody who thinks that we should ever be uncivil.”

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