Dem Sen. McCaskill: "My Job Is Not To Fight" President Trump; I'm A "Moderate"


Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill threads the needle of being a Democrat elected in a state that voted for President Trump:

Transcript via NBC:

CHUCK TODD: Well, look, you're running for re-election in a Trump state.


CHUCK TODD: The president has already visited your state once to talk about tax reform. Here's what he said about you.

DONALD TRUMP: We must lower our taxes. And your senator, Claire McCaskill, she must do this for you. And if she doesn't do it for you, you have to vote her out of office.

CHUCK TODD: If President Trump in the fall of '18 can say you didn't support his tax bill and your opponent is somebody that will work with him, how problematic is that for your reelection?

SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL: Well, I think Missourians are going to take a look and see who is actually getting stuff done. And I couldn't agree more with Rob Portman, one of those senators that worked with Rob Portman was me. We did a lot of things together. I just had a Republican Senator call me over the weekend wanting me to work with him on a bill. I've got a large body of work that is bipartisan, that does accomplish things that matter for Missouri families. And I think that's what they want right now. Not people on opposite sides of the room yelling at each other. I'm one of the few senators left that's not afraid to call myself a moderate. And I think that's what we need right now. All this noise is not accomplishing anything for people.

CHUCK TODD: To the Missouri voter, what do you and President Trump have in common? To the Missouri voter that voted for President Trump that you're going to need if you win reelection, what would you tell them that you and President Trump have in common?

SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL: Well, we have enough in common that he signed a number of my bills into law already. He agreed that we needed to get help to mustard gas veterans who had been tested with mustard gas during World War II. He agreed that we needed to put generic drugs on a fast path to approval so that we could bring down the price of prescription drugs.

So there are things...we certainly agree on infrastructure. If we could figure out a way to bring some of that money that's parked overseas back to build roads and bridges and most importantly high-speed rural broadband in my state. So there are specific policy things we agree on.

And I am anxious to work with him on those things. We may not agree always on style and sometimes we don't agree on substance. But my job's not to fight him. My job's to fight for Missourians. And so I get up every day, my feet hit the ground trying to figure out how I can get stuff done for them. Not how I can criticize the president.

CHUCK TODD: You said something recently that sort of caught my eye, made me chuckle a little bit. You referenced a couple of cable news hosts. And you said 30 percent of Missouri is worrying about one cable news host says, 20 percent is worried about another. And you said and half the state's watching Dancing with the Stars. And your focus on the say, "I try to focus on the folks watching Dancing with the Stars." Who are the Dancing with the Stars voters?

SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL: They are single moms that don't know if they can afford to send their kids to camp. They are two working parents that are making a combined income of less than $100,000 that are trying to figure out whether or not they can get to their child's soccer practice because they have to work extra hours because they're trying to put money in a retirement account.

They are families living paycheck to paycheck. They are way too busy with their lives to worry about all this political noise. And, frankly, they voted for me and for Mitt Romney. They voted for Donald Trump and Jason Kander. They will vote for a Democrat and a Republican if they believe they're authentic, they're telling the truth and they're working hard.

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