Dem Sen. McCaskill Rips Sanders: "Media Giving Bernie A Pass," He's A "Socialist"

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Fervent Hillary Clinton supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill ripped her Senate caucus colleague and candidate for the presidency Bernie Sanders on Thursday's broadcast of MSNBC's Morning Joe. McCaskill castigated the media for giving Sanders a "pass" and dismissed his ability to bring in large crowds. McCaskill complained the media "rarely" notes Sanders is a socialist. Sanders, an Independent, caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.

"I think the media is giving Bernie a pass right now," McCaskill said. "I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he's a socialist. I think everybody wants a fight and I think they are not really giving the same scrutiny to Bernie Sanders that they're giving certainly to Hillary Clinton and the other candidates."

"Any other candidate that has the numbers that Hillary Clinton has right now would be, you know, talked about as absolutely untouchable and all of a sudden, oh, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie," McCaskill added.

"I think Bernie is too liberal to gather enough votes in this country to become president, and I think Hillary Clinton is going to be a fantastic president," McCaskill also said.

McCaskill dismissed the large crowds Sanders has received on the campaign trail, noting, "it's not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following."

"Well, you know, Rand Paul's father got massive crowds, Ron Paul," McCaskill said. "He got the same sized crowds. Pat Buchanan got massive crowds. It's not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following, and massive is relative."

"This is somebody who can carry the torch of middle class opportunity without alienating a wide swath of voters by being, frankly, a socialist," McCaskill said of Hillary Clinton.

SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): I think the media is giving Bernie a pass right now. I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he's a socialist. I think everybody wants a fight and I think they are not really giving the same scrutiny to Bernie Sanders that they're giving certainly to Hillary Clinton and the other candidates.

So she's going to win this and as soon as I think they begin treating him like a serious candidate instead of oh, my gosh, it's so great, we've got a fight in the Democratic party, I think it will become very clear. Any other candidate that has the numbers that Hillary Clinton has right now would be, you know, talked about as absolutely untouchable and all of a sudden, oh, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie...

I think Bernie is too liberal to gather enough votes in this country to become president, and I think Hillary Clinton is going to be a fantastic president.

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MIKA BRZEZINSKI: But what do you make of these massive crowds he's getting and the impact that could have on Hillary's message? And they do account for something, don't they?

McCASKILL: Well, you know, Rand Paul's father got massive crowds, Ron Paul. He got the same sized crowds. Pat Buchanan got massive crowds. It's not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following, and massive is relative. I think Hillary had a massive crowd at her announcement. Certainly as large as any crowd that Bernie Sanders has had.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: So you think Bernie Sanders has an extreme message?

McCASKILL: I think Bernie Sanders has a message that's touching people's frustration and I totally get that, but so does Hillary Clinton. And she's got years of experience working in the very same arena, working on behalf of income inequality and middle class values, middle class families, opportunity for college, opportunity for preschool. This is somebody who can carry the torch of middle class opportunity without alienating a wide swath of voters by being, frankly, a socialist.

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