McCaskill: Sanders Won't Take Advice From Anyone on Political Strategy

If a consultant told him to be 'nicer...Bernie would turn around and walk out'

June 27, 2019

Former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D.) said presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders would not take advice from anyone on political campaigning and instead stick to his own instincts.

The Vermont senator's authenticity is a strength, McCaskill said. He's likely to go after frontrunner Joe Biden, who McCaskill said has a problem with discipline. For Sanders, however, his passion overrides "the notion that he needs to make political decisions," she said.

"The notion that somebody would sit in a room with him and say Bernie, you need to be a nicer version of yourself tonight, Bernie would turn around and walk out of the room and probably give an 'Eh, what are you talking about?'" she said. "That authenticity is his strength."

McCaskill also said she respects Sanders for his convictions even though she does not agree with his democratic-socialist ideas.

"He is somebody who absolutely gives the back of his hand to the notion that he need to make political decisions," McCaskill also said. "I respect him because he's driven by a deep passion to certain ideas. Many of them I disagree with, but that's who he is."

She added that she believes he views things like political polling and personal attacks as "B.S."

As the candidates approach the second night of debates, Biden and Sanders are set to take center stage as leaders in the polls. They are also leaders of different sides of the Democratic Party.

"I don't think we're going to see him tread lightly," McCaskill added, speculating that Sanders may go after Biden to try to get a rise out of the current frontrunner.

Sanders did not hesitate to attack Hillary Clinton when the two were competing for the 2016 nomination—and when Sanders tied her to a corrupt political establishment.

"If [Biden] is smart, he will not take the bait, he will not defend himself, he will say, 'We need to look forward, this is all about Donald Trump,'" McCaskill said.