Lebanon, Mo.—U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, in a campaign tour of rural Missouri recently, impressed a small group of Tea Party members so much they invited her to come to one of their meetings.
As reported by the blog PoliticsMo.com, by Eli Yokley, McCaskill was applauded for her remarks by a crowd here that included some Tea Party members.
“As she did at her previous stops,” Yokley reported, “ McCaskill highlighted her campaign theme of compromise, denouncing her opponents as three Republicans who ‘think compromise is a dirty word.’ The theme carried significant weight with this crowd, where a group of about five local Tea Party activists sat a few rows back listening in.
“The group ended up cheering for McCaskill during her remarks when she mentioned working with Republican Sen. Jim Demint on spending caps and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on legislation to prevent foreign regulation of the internet. After her remarks, one of the men — wearing a ‘Don’t tread on me’ hat — walked up to McCaskill, thanked her for coming, and invited her to speak to his group as she was heading up the stairs to her RV. McCaskill thanked the man for his invitation, and told him to tell his group ‘thanks for their help on earmarks,’ noting her work with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.”
Earlier in the day in Springfield, PoliticsMO.com reported that a television reporter asked McCaskill “why Missouri voters should not be inclined to vote for the Tea Party?”
McCaskill replied: "When you work in the United States Senate, and you are around people of all different ideas and beliefs, you realize that what our Founding Fathers did that was so genius, is that they made the Senate the place where compromises are supposed to happen because of the makeup of the Senate. You have two Senators from Utah, you have two Senators from New York... There are many things about the Tea Party that I don't disagree with. For example, I credit the Tea Party for helping me in the fight against earmarks. They really magnified that argument and took a megaphone to it and I'm proud that I was on the front battle lines getting rid of earmarks. On the other hand, they don't like compromise. When you watch Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Jim DeMint and you watch them try to do things like block the Farm Bill and try to block the Highway Bill and try to block things like basic re-authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration that keeps our skies safe for the traveling public, you go, ‘Really? This is what this is about?’ And I watched John Boehner in the House. We had a compromise with the President last summer to reduce our debt by four to five trillion dollars...and he had to walk away from that compromise because of the Tea Party Caucus in the House. They would not allow it to go forward. So I'm watching from a front row seat what happens. When the Tea Party comes to town, compromise goes out the door. And I think most Missourians want us to compromise and solve problems, rather than have rigid ideology at one far end or the other. I'm the only United States Senator in the country that I'm aware of that's had the far left up on TV and the far right up on TV against me at the same time.”