Outgoing Senator Claire McCaskill is not only saying goodbye, she is torching bridges behind her as she goes.
The bitter Missouri Democrat held nothing back in her final days on the Hill, blasting everyone from young liberal voters to the media for coverage and “drama over that New York woman,” referring to New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I worked on a bill that brought down the price of hearing aids. It was a big deal because hearing aids aren’t covered by Medicare,” the 65-year-old senator told Bloomberg’s Joe Nocera earlier this week. adding that “nobody wrote about it, so nobody knew about it.”
“But there is so much drama over that New York woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, like she’s the new shining object. That’s how the media covers stuff now. And some of us are passing good old-fashioned bills, and we get nothing. Gimme a break!” she continued.
McCaskill, who lost her re-election bid for a third term last month to the state’s attorney general, 38-year-old Republican Josh Hawley, opined the media of days gone by.
“When I first got here,” she said, “the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a half-dozen reporters in Washington. Now there is one person covering the entire Congress. It’s impossible. Now it’s all about social media, the cable networks, the unedited crap.”
The former prosecutor and state auditor did not seem too sad to be leaving the “grind” of the last few years, however.
“I hate losing. But this place is a grind. It wasn’t as much fun as it used to be, and it was wearing on me. And,” she said, “the middle is evaporating.”
McCaskill was also very vocal in placing blame for the “partisan food fights” and congressional dysfunction on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
So sad that our dinner to say good bye to Senators that are leaving is not bipartisan. If we can’t be together to even recognize those who are leaving, what hope is there for this place? Why didn’t it happen? 2 words. Mitch McConnell
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2018
She also called out pro-choice activists in “The Daily” podcast on Thursday, bluntly declaring she would like to tell them to “shut up.”
#BREAKING: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) blasts pro-choice activists in an interview on @nytimes “The Daily” podcast, saying they are “irritating,” they should “shut up,” and helped ruin her 2018 re-election effort. pic.twitter.com/gwj6UjVAmZ
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 20, 2018
“My voting record is perfect, I think,” McCaskill said, speaking of Democratic critics who thought she should have spoken out more on her position on abortion. “I have been very clear about my position. I think the people you would talk to-—I’m willing to bet I could probably name three or four of them — are young women who have not spent any time outside of the group of people that agree with them.”
“Shame on them if they don’t know my voting record. And shame on them that they’re not working as hard as they can for me and not trashing me because of my voting record in a hard state,” she added.
“Shut up! You know, really?” the Democrat spouted off when asked what she would like to say to those voters. “I mean this is hard.
“You know it’d have been one thing if I’d never wavered. But I’ve had to take a lot of tough votes over the years on this issue,” she said.
Looking ahead to her new plans following the election loss, McCaskill admitted to Bloomberg that she was excited at what lay ahead.
“Now that I don’t have to get things done, my job is to speak with knowledge and experience. It will be a lot more fun,” she said.
She posted a video from the Senate on to her Instagram account Thursday, with the caption “I’m out” and admitting she would probably not be visiting very often.
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