Dem senator: I may face 2018 primary from Tea Party-esque progressives

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker Top GOP super PAC targets Manchin in first 2018 ad MORE (D-Mo.) on Thursday compared a faction of Democrats calling for their party to become increasingly progressive to the Tea Party movement that grew out of Republicans’ opposition to President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaPelosi: Intel chair Nunes is 'deeply compromised' on Russia investigation Supreme Court has a duty to safeguard election integrity House panel to challenge climate science MORE.

That wing of the party, McCaskill said on “The Mark Reardon Show” in St. Louis, could offer up a primary challenger to take on the two-term senator when she runs for reelection next year.

"I’m for sure going to run," McCaskill said. "And I may have a primary because there is, in our party now, some of the same kind of enthusiasm at the base that the Republican Party had with the Tea Party.”

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“Many of those people are very impatient with me because they don't think I'm pure. For example, they think I should be voting against all of Trump's nominees and of course I'm judging each nominee on its own merit," she said.

McCaskill is among a group of Democrats, including Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate Five things to watch for in Supreme Court showdown MORE (N.D.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate Putting coal profits ahead of coal miners MORE (W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker Top GOP super PAC targets Manchin in first 2018 ad MORE (Ind.), who face reelection next year in red states that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in the 2016 election.

In her Thursday interview, McCaskill took aim at her own party, saying that the Democrats haven’t listened to the concerns of voters “that fundamentally think Washington, D.C., is not paying any attention to their needs.”

More ideologically stringent party members have pushed Senate Democrats to reject Trump’s Cabinet nominees and Supreme Court pick on the spot, McCaskill said. Among the 13 Cabinet picks that have been confirmed so far, McCaskill has voted in favor of seven and against five. She said she hadn’t yet decided how she will vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

"As of today it's about half and half of the ones I've voted no on and the ones I've voted yes on and I'm making an individual decision based on merit on each one," McCaskill said. "That's not good enough for some of these folks who want me to be just against Trump everywhere.”