In 2006, Claire McCaskill Couldn’t Imagine a Question She Wouldn’t Be ‘Willing to Answer’

McCaskill now has 'nothing to say about the Supreme Court nominee'

Sen. Claire McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill / Getty Images

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Back in 2006 when Claire McCaskill was in Josh Hawley's shoes, challenging an incumbent senator, she said she couldn't imagine being asked a question as a paid public servant and not having an answer.

McCaskill, like Hawley, was a Missouri elected state official challenging incumbent Republican senator Jim Talent. She was given the opportunity during a debate with Talent to challenge him on one issue, and she went after him for refusing to answer questions about his stance on issues his constituents cared about.

"My salary is paid by the public, your salary is paid by the public, I can't imagine that there's any question that I'm asked about my stance on issues that I'm not willing to answer," McCaskill said during the debate, which can be viewed on C-SPAN. "I think it's my obligation as an elected official."

McCaskill, who won that race and is in her second reelection fight, has now come across a question she's not willing to answer, according to a Thursday night Washington Post report.

"If you're going to ask me questions about the Supreme Court nominee, I have absolutely nothing to say," she told reporters who asked about her stance on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

McCaskill then repeatedly stated, "Nothing to say about the Supreme Court nominee," according to the report.

Hawley called McCaskill's refusal to answer reporter's questions on Kavanaugh's nomination "embarrassing," echoing McCaskill's 2006 point that it is a senator's obligation to answer questions on where she stands.

"Do you want this job or not?" he wrote on Twitter.

Hawley has been clear that he would support Kavanaugh if he held the seat, calling him "remarkably qualified for the Supreme Court."

The Hill reported earlier this week that McCaskill has been walking the halls of the senate with her "cellphone glued to her ear … making it impossible for journalists to ask her about Kavanaugh's record."

McCaskill has made a habit recently of keeping her thought process on contentious issues close to the chest until the last possible minute. She didn't announce her opposition to CIA director Gina Haspel until just before the Senate voted to confirm her.

McCaskill also waited until the last week to announce her opposition to Justice Neil Gorsuch, calling it "a really difficult decision."

The McCaskill campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Brent Scher   Email Brent | Full Bio | RSS
Brent Scher is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied foreign affairs and politics.

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