MSNBC contributor and former Democratic Missouri senator Claire McCaskill apologized to angry Twitter users for using the term "transsexual" Wednesday night.
McCaskill said she was "tired" and did not mean to use the "hurtful term" while discussing challenges the Democratic Party faces in appealing to working-class voters.
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"That’s not what I meant obviously," McCaskill wrote Wednesday night on Twitter. "Look at my record. I’m tired and was trying to say we need to also focus on the economic issues we champion."
She apologized more fully Thursday morning.
"I’m so sorry I used hurtful term last night," she said. "I was tired, but never a good excuse."
I’m 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.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) November 5, 2020
McCaskill used the term while discussing the reasons Democrats could be losing working-class voters.
"The Republican Party very adroitly adopted cultural issues as part of their main theme, whether you are 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 they are treated fairly," McCaskill said.
Left-wing Twitter users jumped on McCaskill for using the word, which they consider outdated.
"Ma’am, you still said the word," said a former Tom Steyer staffer, who uses the pronouns he/they. "The fact that you haven’t updated your vocabulary from 1996 is telling of where your pulse is."
"You said what you said on national television to millions of viewers," a former Bernie Sanders surrogate said. "You didn’t correct yourself in the moment. You carried on like you said nothing wrong."