Politics

McCaskill to Hillary Clinton: Be ‘More Careful’ Talking About Trump Voters

Missouri Democrat faces uphill battle for re-election in state Trump won

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill criticized Hillary Clinton for recent comments about voters in Middle America. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Claire McCaskill had choice words for Hillary Clinton over comments the former secretary of State made in India last month about people who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Clinton should “show respect to every American voter,” regardless of how they voted in the presidential election, the Missouri Democrat said.

“For those of us that are in states that Trump won, we would really appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones who voted for her,” McCaskill said Sunday in an interview on MSNBC.

McCaskill easily won a second term over Republican Todd Akin in 2012, helped by his comments about “legitimate rape” and abortion, but she is among the most vulnerable Democrats facing re-election this year, in a state that broke for Trump by 19 points. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is her likely GOP opponent. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Senate race a Toss-up.

[Roll Call’s 2018 Election Guide]

The National Republican Senatorial Committee launched ads in 10 states Monday tying vulnerable Democrats to Clinton.

The videos, which will be seen on Facebook, show footage of Clinton’s recent remarks in Mumbai, India, where she said Trump’s campaign platform was “looking backwards.”

“All that red in the middle, where Trump won, what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product,” Clinton said at a conference. “So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.”

Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, Clinton said, played on biases among nonurban U.S. voters who “didn’t like black people getting rights” or women getting better and more job opportunities.

By waving a hand at “all that red in the middle,” Clinton was dismissing the convictions and political appetites of Missouri voters, McCaskill said.

“I understand the point she was trying to make, but it felt like she was criticizing Missouri voters,” the senator said Sunday. “I would draw a line there. I have great respect for Missouri voters, and there were a lot of reasons why they voted for Donald Trump — some of them I understand.”

McCaskill told The Washington Post earlier this month after Clinton’s remarks were first reported that she sympathized with the “frustration with the status quo” many Show-Me State voters had. 

“I may not have agreed with their choice, but I certainly respect them,” she said. “And I don’t think that’s the way you should talk about any voter, especially ones in my state.”

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