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Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill on campaigning with Obama: ‘Probably not’

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill put on a happy face during her appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday. But when asked if she planned to enlist President Obama’s help on the campaign trail, she had only two words: “Probably not.”

McCaskill’s constituency is deeply opposed to Obamacare, and only 44 percent of Missourians voted for the Obama in 2012 — well before scandals and a disastrous healthcare rollout derailed his presidency. But the senator put on her rosy glasses to analyze if she and many congressional Democrats have “a midterm problem.”

“Well, I think it’s a challenge,” she said. “But it reminds me of what everyone was saying in the early months of 2012, that Democrats couldn’t hold on, that Democrats were going to lose the Senate. And we not only won in 2012, we picked up seats.”

“There’s problems on the Republican side,” she continued. “They’ve got some really nasty primaries out there. The dominant message in those primaries, I think, does not appeal to mainstream. And so I feel good about November.”

“Hm, she feels good about it,” MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski mused skeptically. “I dunno.”

MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin then asked if McCaskill if she “was running for election in Arkansas, Louisiana or South Carolina, would you invite the president and campaign side-by-side with him?”

“You know, probably not,” she replied. “I mean, this is — you know, I, don’t — I try to be really candid and honest on this show. The president’s numbers are not strong in my state or in Arkansas or Louisiana or North Carolina. He did not win those states when he ran for re-election in 2012.”

“But that doesn’t mean that you can’t WIN,” she hastened to add. “These candidates in those states are strong candidates. They have been an independent voice for their states. They know how to stay on offense and talk about the Republicans shutting down the government, and Republicans marginalizing hard-working people who come to this country wanting nothing more than to be part of the American Dream.”

She finished, as all red-state Democrats must, with a subtle swipe at the Washington elite. “I think this issue about whether or not you have Obama come to your state is something we like to focus on in Washington,” she noted, “but probably is not that important when you get out to these states.”

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