Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has doubled down on her criticism of Hillary Clinton for the tone-deaf comments the former Democratic presidential nominee recently made about the people who voted for President Donald Trump.
In an interview with MSNBC on Sunday, McCaskill said Clinton should be “more careful” about the way she talks about Trump voters.
“For those of us that are in states that Trump won, we would really appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones who voted for her,” said McCaskill.
Republicans and Democrats have excoriated Clinton for her remarks, which were made during a conference in Mumbai, India earlier this month. Comparing her voters to Trump’s, Clinton said she “won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.”
In contrast, Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign “was looking backwards,” Clinton said, and suggested her opponent’s platform targeted racists and misogynists.
After facing intense backlash for her remarks, Clinton apologized, saying she “meant no disrespect.”
McCaskill, who’s seeking re-election this November, said she believes the former secretary of state’s words crossed a line.
“I understand the point she was trying to make, but it felt like she was criticizing Missouri voters,” McCaskill told MSNBC. “I would draw a line there. I have great respect for Missouri voters, and there were a lot of reasons why they voted for Donald Trump, some of them I understand.”
McCaskill was pilloried for her close connection to Clinton in a campaign ad released last week by one of her potential Republican challengers, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. The ad showed snippets of Clinton’s comments in India followed by the words: “This is what Claire McCaskill and her ‘president’ think of you.”
McCaskill has tried to distance herself from Clinton’s remarks, telling the Washington Post that they were “fighting words.”
“Those are kind of fighting words for me, because I’m partial to Missouri voters,” she said. “I think they were expressing their frustration with the status quo. I may not have agreed with their choice, but I certainly respect them. And I don’t think that’s the way you should talk about any voter, especially ones in my state.”