Differences in approach to the presidential race couldn’t be more pronounced than it is between Missouri’s U.S. Senators.
Democrat Claire McCaskill couldn’t be more vocal in her rejection of Donald Trump’s candidacy. She often recounts the many actions which she thinks disqualify him from being a nominee. “This is a man who insulted a Gold Star family” said McCaskill. “This a man who tried to shame a young woman about gaining weight. This is a man who has been sued countless times for sexual harassment, including him insisting that some of his places have prettier hostesses.”
In contrast, Republican Senator Roy Blunt was noticeably annoyed last week when asked about sexual assault accusations against Trump. Although he’s endorsed his fellow GOP member, he noticeably separated himself from the presidential nominee at a recent press conference. “You know I think it’s pretty hard to confuse me with Donald Trump” said Blunt. He went on predict Trump would carry the state.
Yet Blunt’s lately avoided drawing attention to Trump, instead focusing on President Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “I think if you want to do something about the Obamacare disaster, if you want to do something about the out of control regulators, if you’re concerned as I am about the worst foreign policy we’ve had since World War II, Mrs. Clinton is not the answer.”
And while pointing out differences with Clinton, Blunt’s also critical of fellow Republicans who’ve abandoned Trump. “I don’t think a third Obama term is where Missourians want to go, and so I think some of my colleagues have made this a whole lot harder than it needs to be.”
Blunt may have been referring to GOP 2nd District Congresswoman Ann Wagner in the last remark. Shortly after McCaskill challeged Republicans in the Missouri congressional delegation to call Trump out for bragging about sexually assaulting women, Wagner called for Trump to step down.
Blunt is running for reelection and may not want to alienate Trump backers on Election Day. Polling has shown Trump with a comfortable lead over Hillary Clinton while Blunt is in a tighter race for his senate seat against Democrat Jason Kander. McCaskill won’t face a challenge to her seat until 2018.