McCaskill: O’Rourke Should ‘Go Home’ to Texas to Challenge Cornyn

'It's a big damn deal'

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) on Tuesday said Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke should "go home" to Texas and challenge Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas).

McCaskill, who joined MSNBC and NBC as a political analyst after she was unseated by Republican Josh Hawley in November, appeared on MSNBC's Deadline: White House, where she advised O'Rourke to drop out of the Democratic primary.

Host Nicolle Wallace read an excerpt from a piece published by the Houston Chronicle editorial board titled, "Beto, come home. Texas needs you." She asked McCaskill to respond to the piece, prompting McCaskill to say, "I say go Beto, go home."

"I really think so many people are focused on beating Trump, and it's the majority of our conversations are about potential candidates and who's going to win the nomination and of course it's because of where I come from that I understand how our government works," McCaskill said. "You guys get it. You've been there. The point is if we don't get more Senate seats it's going to be a Pyrrhic victory."

She went on to criticize Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) for filling the federal bench with these "right-wing ideologues that are very young."

"Us taking the Senate is a big darn deal. Can I say damn?" McCaskill asked.

"You can say whatever you want," Wallace said.

"It's a big damn deal, and Beto would be a really important addition to that effort and I think sometimes you've got to weigh how does your country need you most, and I honestly believe our country needs Beto to run for the Senate in Texas," McCaskill said.

O'Rourke has struggled in recent polls, including a New Hampshire survey released by Saint Anselm College last month showing him at zero percent. He is one of nine Democratic candidates to have qualified for the third round of debates, however.