During an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier on Monday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) embraced some of President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about border security and attempted to distance herself from what she called “one of those crazy Democrats” who oppose him and his policies.
McCaskill is viewed as one of the most embattled Senate Democrats up for re-election this year, and her appearance on the president’s favorite cable news network one week from the midterm elections suggests she’s at real risk of losing her bid for a third term.
She affirmed that she backs the president “100 percent” when it comes to preventing the entry of a caravan of asylum-seekers and migrants marching toward the U.S.
“I do not want our borders overrun. And I support the president’s efforts to make sure they’re not,” McCaskill said in the interview.
When Baier asked the senator about a radio ad released by her campaign last week in which a narrator said that “Claire’s not one of those crazy Democrats,” McCaskill responded, saying the term applies to people who “walk [into] restaurants and scream at elected officials’ faces.” She also cited a Missouri state senator who advocated for the assassination of Trump last year.
While she declined to apply the term to any of her Senate colleagues, McCaskill took thinly veiled swipes at high-profile progressives colleagues like Bernie Sanders of Vermont (I) and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (D).
“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,” McCaskill said, referring to a bill rolling back some critical parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law earlier this year.
McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight against Missouri GOP state Attorney General Josh Hawley, who was leading according to several recent polls of the race. Trump is scheduled to travel to Missouri twice before the election, suggesting that Republicans are confident about their chances of flipping a Democratic seat there.
In response to a question about Trump’s warnings about the migrant caravan ― which still remains a thousand miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border ― and his deployment of thousands of U.S. troops there, McCaskill told Fox News that Trump “has to use every tool he has at his disposal” to address the people coming to ask for asylum.
“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,” McCaskill added.