Sen. Claire McCaskill: Bernie Sanders is 'Too Liberal' to Become President

June 25, 2015

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) said her colleague Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) is ‘too liberal’ to become president of the United States.

On Morning Joe Thursday, McCaskill was critical of Sanders for his far-left socialist positions and criticized the press for giving Sanders a pass.

"I think the media is giving Bernie a pass right now," McCaskill said. "I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he's a socialist. I think everybody wants a fight and I think they are not really giving the same scrutiny to Bernie Sanders that they're giving certainly to Hillary Clinton and the other candidates."

A new Bloomberg poll found Clinton has lost ground while Sanders saw a surge of support.

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough asked McCaskill whether she thought Sanders' message was extreme.

"I think Bernie Sanders has a message that's touching people's frustration and I totally get that, but so does Hillary Clinton," McCaskill said. "And she's got years of experience working in the very same arena, working on behalf of income inequality and middle class values, middle class families, opportunity for college, opportunity for preschool. This is somebody that can carry the torch of middle class opportunity without alienating a wide swath of voters by being, frankly, a socialist."

In 2008, McCaskill endorsed President Obama after the Clintons backed her for her senate run.  This strained the relationship between McCaskill and Clinton. Now, McCaskill was one of the earliest supporters of Clinton’s second run for President.

Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin pressured McCaskill to give three of Sanders' positions.

MARK HALPERIN: Senator, you said Sen. Sanders should get more scrutiny. Just name three specific positions he holds that you think are too far left, too socialist, to be electable.

MCCASKILL: I am not here to be critical of my colleague, Bernie Sanders.

HALPERIN: Senator, with all due respect, you already were. You said he was socialist and not electable.

MCCASKILL: I do believe that.

HALPERIN: So what are three examples of things that prove your point?

MCCASKILL: Well, I think he would like to see Medicare for all in this country have everybody have a government insurance policy. I don't think most Americans want government to have every insurance policy.

HALPERIN: That's one. Two more?

SCARBOROUGH: I bet you never knew--Halperin, what is this, law school?

HALPERIN: I think Mark is upset because I said the media is not, I think, covering Bernie in the same context.

BRZEZINSKI: I think that's true.

MCCASKILL: They are other candidates.

HALPERIN: I'm just asking you to help us, Senator. What are two more things?

MCCASKILL: You know what they are, Mark. You don't have to ask me. You know what they are. He would like to see expansion of entitlements. He would like to see--he is not worried about a debt at all. He is somebody who I think is, frankly, against trade. He's against a whole lot of things. That are unrealistic in this right day and age.

McCaskill might have to reconsider her support for Hillary Clinton. Clinton has stated previously that she would support a single-payer health care system and has also come out against trade.