Missouri’s incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has stepped on a number of toes within her own party in order to prove that she’s not a far left liberal or a “crazy Democrat.”
Locked in a tight race against Republican challenger Attorney General Josh Hawley — in a state that President Donald Trump won by 19 points in 2016 — McCaskill has had little choice but to lean toward the center. And in doing so, she has insulted a few members of her own party.
Former President Barack Obama hit the 2018 campaign trail in support of a number of Democratic candidates — but he won’t be making any stump speeches in Missouri. A recent Project Veritas video caught a McCaskill campaign staffer explaining why.
“Yeah, so Obama is campaigning for Democrats, yes. But Obama will not be coming to Missouri, because of how polarizing a figure he is in Missouri.”
The campaign snub of Obama is a 180-degree pivot from McCaskill’s voting record, however. Politico reported in 2012 that McCaskill voted with her party 80 percent of the time — but she voted with Obama over 90 percent of the time.
McCaskill sat down with Fox News host Bret Baier on Monday, and Baier challenged her with regard to a recent radio ad. The ad claimed that McCaskill was one of those “crazy Democrats” — and Baier pressed her to name names.
While saying that she wouldn’t exactly call the Massachusetts Democratic Senator “crazy,” she did point out Warren’s opposition to policies she had supported that were more moderate.
McCaskill mentioned the Vermont Independent senator in the same interview, listing Sanders along with Warren as among those who offered “knee-jerk” opposition to anything President Trump said or did. (RELATED: Claire McCaskill Forced To Give Examples Of ‘Crazy Democrats’)
During the Bret Baier interview, McCaskill also made mention of a Missouri State Senator who had once called for the assassination of President Trump. At the time, McCaskill was among those who called for Chappelle-Nadal to resign (she did not).
During her Fox News appearance, McCaskill brought her up, saying, “We have a state senator here in Missouri that actually advocated for the assassination of President Trump. That’s a crazy Democrat.”
Chappelle-Nadal attacked McCaskill over the radio ad earlier in the week, claiming that the term “crazy Democrats” might be racially motivated. “[McCaskill] is calling her base in the urban areas crazy Democrats,” Chappelle-Nadal said, “and she’s relying on those so-called crazy Democrats to make sure she wins.”
In addition to her attempts to distance herself from former President Obama, McCaskill also tried to separate herself from the woman she endorsed for president in 2016 — Hillary Clinton.
Honorable Mentions: Maxine Waters, Cory Booker and Eric Holder
McCaskill, before naming anyone specifically, characterized the “crazy Democrats” as “people who walk into restaurants and scream at elected officials’ faces.”
She then noted that she had always advocated for civility and respect for others, even when she disagreed with them. In contrast, Waters, Booker and Holder have all advocated less civil means of addressing political opposition.
The embattled Missouri Senator is currently locked in a race so tight that RCP average still has it classified as a toss-up. Her opponent, Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, is up by two percent in the most recent polls.
Follow Virginia on Twitter.