Former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill Apologizes For Saying ‘Transsexual’

Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) on Twitter

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Former Democratic Missouri Sen. and MSNBC contributor Claire McCaskill apologized Thursday for using the word “transsexual” when she appeared Wednesday night on MSNBC.

When former Tom Steyer staffer Tony Choi criticized her on Twitter for using the term, McCaskill said “that’s not what I meant obviously.”

“Look at my record,” she wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “I’m tired and was trying to say we need to also focus on the economic issues we champion.”

McCaskill addressed the issue again on Twitter Thursday morning. She apologized for using the “hurtful term.”

“I’m so sorry I used [the] hurtful term last night,” she said. “I was tired, but never a good excuse. People have misinterpreted what I was trying to say.”

“Our party should never leave behind our fight 4 equality for trans people or anyone else who has been marginalized by hate,” the former Senator continued. “My record reflects that.”

McCaskill used the term Wednesday night when discussing the Democratic party’s struggle to gain support from working-class voters.

“The Republican Party very adroitly adopted cultural issues as part of their main theme, whether you are talking guns, or issues surrounding the right to abortion in this country, or things like gay marriage and the right for transsexuals and other people who we as a party have tried to, quote-unquote, look after and make sure they are treated fairly,” she said. “As we circle those issues, we left some voters behind and Republicans dove in with a vengeance and grabbed those voters.”

Twitter users, including Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, criticized McCaskill for the term that they consider outdated and offensive.

“Why do we listen to people who lost elections as if they are experts in winning elections?” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to her 9.7 million followers. “McCaskill tried her approach. She ran as a caravan-hysteria Dem& lost while grassroots organizers won progressive measures in MO. Her language here shows how she took her base for granted.”

“If you’re cisgender and eager to leap to Claire McCaskill‘s defense of this, you really need to take a break here and rethink your approach,” Charlotte Clymer, former press secretary for rapid response at the Human Rights Campaign, said Thursday.