On an appearance on MSNBC, former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill called out "transsexuals," gay marriage, abortion, gun safety, and people Democrats "look after" as part of the reason the Democratic Party has lost some voters. The pundit from Missouri issued an apology (met with a mixed response on Twitter) saying she was "tired."
\u201cI\u2019m so sorry I used hurtful term last night.I was tired,but never a good excuse.People have misinterpreted what I was trying to say.Our party should never leave behind our fight 4 equality for trans people or anyone else who has been marginalized by hate. My record reflects that.\u201d
McCaskill apologized for using an antiquated term, transsexual, which is a holdover from the psychological and medical communities, although some folks still identify as such.
Her troubling answer about LGBTQ+ people and women's reproductive freedom followed a question Brian Williams read on-air.
"When did the Democrats become the Whole Foods party when the nation, I insist, is still a Ralphs country, a Piggly Wiggly country, a Safeway country, and so on?" Williams read.
"I think it began around cultural issues. The Republican Party, I think, very adroitly adopted cultural issues as part of their main theme, whether you're talking guns or issues surrounding the right to abortion in this country or things like gay marriage and the right for transsexuals and other people who we as a party have tried to quote-unquote look after and make sure that they're treated fairly," McCaskill said.
"As we circle those issues, we left some voters behind and Republicans dove in with a vengeance," she continued. "And you've seen this shift. You saw it in the South. I saw it in the rural areas of my state."
"So we've got to get back to the meat and potatoes issues. We've got to get back to the issues where we are taking care of their families," McCaskill said, appearing to make a distinction between blue-collar issues and identity politics.
"We also have to quit acting like we're smarter than everybody else," she said, adding that she knows Donald Trump is a "disaster."
Social media blew up in response to McCaskill's statements. She issued the apology, which was met with mixed responses, with some calling on her to do better and others saying her record speaks for itself.
\u201c@clairecmc Speaking only for myself, I appreciate this, but I also want to point out that part of the hurt here is the idea that trans people aren't part of the working class or leading in the public square. We're equal partners putting in the effort. That should be recognized.\u201d
\u201c@clairecmc Respectfully, it wasn't *just* that you misspoke (at least for me). It was that you seemed to endorse sacrificing emphasis on crucial issues and protecting vulnerable communities in exchange for appealing to "culturally conservative" white voters. \n\nThat was deeply disconcerting.\u201d
\u201c@clairecmc Claire, thank you. Love you. That said, we all need to reframe our speech. \nBlue-collar worker =/= cis/het man\nChristian =/= white\nImmigrant =/= Mexican\nThere are as many lived realities for Americans as there are Americans. Our thinking, speech, and policies need to reflect it.\u201d