McCaskill Taking Heat From Democratic Base For "Crazy Democrats" Ad, Comments
With the latest polls showing Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill now trailing her challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, her campaign appears to be attempting to sell moderate and independent Missouri voters on a more "conservative" McCaskill by taking swipes at "crazy Democrats".
Electorally, the move could cause problems for McCaskill by angering loyal voters in heavy Democrat bases like St. Louis.
In new ads released by the McCaskill Campaign in the past week, a narrator assures, "Claire's not one of those crazy Democrats."
McCaskill then did an exclusive interview with FOX News on Monday, explaining who the "crazy Democrats" are, including an attack on a prominent St. Louis-area Democrat.
"The crazy Democrats are people who walk in restaurants and scream in elected officials' faces," McCaskill told FOX News correspondent Bret Baier.
McCaskill also took some jabs at fellow Senate Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who are very Progressive and very easy targets. What may cause her problems in heavy Democratic voting areas like St. Louis was her attack of State Senator Maria Chapelle-Nadal.
"We have a state senator here in Missouri that actually advocated for the assassination of President Trump. That's a crazy Democrat," McCaskill said, "I don't do those things. I am not somebody who thinks that we should ever be uncivil."
Chapelle-Nadal and other local Democrats have been highly critical of McCaskill, and her apparent pivot to woo moderate voters could cost her votes from liberals who would be expected to give her votes.
In the interview with FOX News, while McCaskill stopped short of actually calling Warren and Sanders "crazy Democrats", she used them to attempt to separate herself from their politics.
"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," she said, adding, "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 even used the interview to take a semi-hardline immigration stance, saying of President Trump:
"I think the president has to use every tool he has at his disposal," she said. "And I --100 percent -- back him up on that. Whether it is turning them back because we are not equipped to handle that many asylum claims into our system -- and by the way that's one of the issues here. ... When somebody comes across the border and they ask us for asylum. The law says we need to hear him, but we're waiting way too long to hear it. We need to hear him right away. So I do not want our borders overrun. And I support the president's efforts to make sure they're not."
The latest RealClearPolitics Poll now shows Hawley leading McCaskill by 2 points, based on a new poll by the Missouri Scout (released Saturday) showing Hawley up by 4 points.
McCaskill has been fighting to convince Missouri voters that she is a mainstream candidate, but the past couple of months have not gone well for her campaign.
McCaskill voted against confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, undercover videos were released showing her campaign workers admitting that the McCaskill campaign works to mislead voters on her stance on issues, she immediately demanded a criminal investigation of those videos, and there was also the reminder of her own description of how she manipulated Missouri voters into giving her the opponent she wanted in 2012.