Former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill chose sides Thursday in the spat between 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates Sen. Cory Booker and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden proudly touted a track record of working with opponents and those he disagrees with during a fundraising event Tuesday, but remarks made by the former vice president about his ability to show “civility” and work well even with segregationists like Democratic Sens. James Eastland and Herman Talmadge garnered substantial controversy.
Booker was quick to respond and issued a news release arguing that Biden’s “proud” working relationships with men who held such radical beliefs were disappointing, bad “examples of how to bring our country together.”
McCaskill, however, came to Biden’s aid, defending his sentiments and doubling down.
A track record of working with hateful men and segregationists would leave a political figure well equipped to work with the “creepy, stinky” Republicans in the modern Congress, the Missouri Democrat argued in a Thursday appearance on MSNBC.
“Let’s get some context here,” McCaskill said. “The things we really care about: immigration reform, the kind of criminal justice reform we still need to reach for, climate change. You have got to have 60 votes in the Senate.”
“End of discussion. You don’t get 60 votes, we’re not getting big stuff done that’s important to people we care about because we can’t get to 60 votes,” she added.
According to McCaskill, was that the only way for Democrats to achieve the progressive platform they have been seeking is to be willing to reach across the aisle and work with Republican opponents.
The former senator proceeded to verbally tar Republican opponents as no better than the segregationist Democrats of the ’60s and ’70s.
“Biden is trying to convey that he can work with really creepy, stinky people,” McCaskill said.
In fact, the only reservation McCaskill held about Biden’s Tuesday night remarks were that they were bad optics, detracting from an apparently flawless message.
According to McCaskill, Biden could have just as easily — and far less controversially — made his point by referring to the many other “stinky, creepy” people he has worked with in the past.
“Let me just say this,” she added. “Big mistake to use those two guys as examples.”
“There’s plenty of stinky, creepy people through history he could be using to make the point.”
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