McCaskill Lays Out Message Against Rivals On Statewide Tour
"There's a rumor there are no Democrats in southwest Missouri," joked U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, greeting dozens of supporters gathered for the opening of a campaign office in Joplin Monday evening.
McCaskill made a campaign swing through the southwest region of the state earlier this week — finishing with a stop Tuesday evening at a pie bakery in Rolla, the town in which she was born.
McCaskill, one of the most targeted Democrats in the country by outside spending from super PACs and national Republicans, said she is embarking on the state wide tour to take her campaign message to voters who may only know her based on the ads.
At stops in Joplin, Springfield, and Lebanon, McCaskill was critical of her three Republican rivals — Todd Akin, John Brunner, and Sarah Steelman — for supporting significant changes to Medicare, Social Security, and federal involvement in student loans, and said what the Senate really needs is more people who would be willing to compromise.
"This is Harry Truman's seat," McCaskill told voters in Joplin. "Harry Truman would not want this seat filled with someone who thinks compromise is a dirty word."
During all of her stops, McCaskill was lambasted her three rivals for touting support from the Tea Party, but during a stop in Lebanon, it was McCaskill who ended up receiving applause from members of the conservative group.
There, a group of about five local Tea Party activists sat a few rows back listening in. The group ended up cheering for McCaskill during her remarks when she mentioned working with Sen. Jim Demitt on spending caps and Sen. Marco Rubio on legislation to prevent foreign regulation of the internet.
After her remarks, one of the men — wearing a "Don't tread on me" hat — walked up to McCaskill, thanked her for coming, and invited her to speak to his group as she was heading up the stairs to her RV. McCaskill thanked the man for his invitation, and told him to tell his group "thanks for their help on earmarks," noting her work with Pat Toomey.
Earlier in the week, McCaskill visited St. Louis, Columbia, and the Kansas City region. Later this week, McCaskill will wrap up her tour with visits to southeast Missouri.