The Maneater

Claire McCaskill: 'Eat my dust, Josh'

A day after Trump’s rally in Columbia, Claire McCaskill spoke to voters about the midterm election.

“As Josh Hawley tells you every 10 minutes, I’m old,” Sen. Claire McCaskill said to a room of over 100 people in Shakespeare’s Pizza on Nov. 2. “And by the way, eat my dust, Josh. I’m running circles around you.”

McCaskill stopped in Columbia as part of her “Fighting for You” midterm tour, the day after President Donald Trump held a rally at the Columbia Regional Airport. She led the lively room with a speech that gave her views on dark money, criticized her Republican challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and encouraged people to volunteer for the final days of her campaign.

“I need you all to dig a little deeper, not with money, but with your time over the next four days,” she said at the event. “I need you to find a couple of hours that you can walk a shift… knock on a few doors. We now know where our voters are, but some of them only vote in presidentials. And what we have to do is nudge them to make sure that they understand that this election is as important to Missouri as a presidential.”

McCaskill didn’t refrain from acknowledging people’s criticisms about her, one being her willingness to cross party lines, work with Republicans and sometimes vote against her party.

“I know that sometimes to your irritation, I have a tendency to hang out in the middle and try to pull people in from the edges” she said in response.

From the crowd, one woman spoke out after McCaskill said this.

“I think that’s what I like most about you,” the woman said.

The crowd clapped and cheered in agreement.

“Sometimes I get chewed on a little bit in Columbia for that,” McCaskill said afterwards. "Sometimes there are folks in Columbia that are disappointed that I am not afraid to break with my party. And I think that’s the right thing to do for Missouri.”

As of Nov. 2, FiveThirtyEight said McCaskill agrees with Trump’s position on bills 44.9 percent of the time.

According to FiveThirtyEight, this is on par with other Democratic colleagues from traditionally conservative states, like Joe Manchin of West Virginia with 60.8 percent and Doug Jones from Alabama with 50 percent. For comparison, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York votes with Trump 25.3 percent of the time.

“I will guarantee you this, if this wasn’t an election year and you gave my Republican colleagues truth serum and asked them to name three or four Democrats they worked with, I would make their list,” McCaskill said at the event.

McCaskill also weighed in on the issue of dark money, an issue pertaining to anonymous sources donating money to political campaigns. According to the Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC prohibited the government from restricting how much corporations and labor unions can contribute to a political campaign. McCaskill cited this case when talking about dark money, saying that it’s one of the worst court decision of her lifetime.

McCaskill said Josh Hawley agrees with the decision and then addressed criticisms of the decision helping her campaigns.

“I don’t care if the ad is for me or against me, if you can’t tell who is paying for it, you should ignore it,” McCaskill said at the event.

At the end, McCaskill spoke truthfully about her experience with the campaign and how taxing it can be on her.

“This is hard,” she said to the crowd. “It’s really, really hard. And I have times where my shoulders stoop a little and I think: ‘Really, one more? Really, one more event? I’m so tired.’ And at those moments, I see your faces. I see you and you give me energy and you lift me up. You are my fuel. You are inspirational to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

With that, her speech ended and the crowd gave her a standing ovation. Afterwards, she met with people to talk with them and take selfies.

Edited by Caitlyn Rosen | crosen@themaneater.com

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