Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is deliberately soft-pedaling her liberal positions in order to appeal to moderate voters in a close election, according to new video from an undercover journalist who infiltrated her campaign.
McCaskill is facing a strong challenge from Republicans in a heavily Republican state. Her opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, has been polling ahead of her since mid-August and current polls show the candidates less than half a percentage point apart.
The video, from conservative outlet Project Veritas, shows McCaskill herself expressing support for strong gun control measures including bans on bump stocks, semi-automatic weapons, and high capacity magazines. On camera, she promises a Democratic senate will be able to finally “get some gun safety stuff done” – a position that appears nowhere in her campaign literature.
Staffers speak freely about the importance of lying to voters on subjects including gun control, DACA, and impeachment, explaining that being open about her support for such measures would “hurt her ability to get elected.”
Such deceptive tactics are not limited to McCaskill’s campaign, as staffer Rob Mills tells the undercover journalist. “She’s worked out stuff with Moms Demand Action to make sure that she can support their goals without supporting the organization openly. And you know, Moms Demand Action does the exact same thing. Like a lot of our volunteers are actually from there.”
One staffer lamented that former President Barack Obama couldn’t campaign for McCaskill in Missouri. “Claire distancing herself from the party is gonna help her win more votes…which is unfortunate, because I love Obama to pieces, and I’d love to see him come here.”
But “people just can’t know that“ they essentially have the same views on everything, he emphasized.
McCaskill was elected to the Senate in 2007 and has been there ever since, even as Missouri voters have become more conservative. Her public image has changed accordingly, so much that her campaign website does not even mention she is a Democrat, calling her instead “an independent voice for Missouri.” Meanwhile, the video reveals, she is receiving campaign funds from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
The 2018 election is widely considered by members of both parties to be a symbolic referendum on the Trump presidency and the stakes are accordingly high, with some Democrats promising to impeach the president should they retake control of the House in November.
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