Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillDem senator: I may face 2018 primary from Tea Party-esque progressives Dems ask for hearings on Russian attempts to attack election infrastructure House bill would prevent Trump from lifting Russian sanctions 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 ObamaRand Paul: We’re very lucky John McCain’s not in charge Limbaugh: The media did not make Donald Trump and they can't destroy him How dealmaker Trump can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 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.”
McCaskill is among a group of Democrats, including Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampPruitt sworn in as EPA chief EPA breaks Twitter silence to congratulate new head Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick MORE (N.D.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPruitt sworn in as EPA chief EPA breaks Twitter silence to congratulate new head Dem senator: I may face 2018 primary from Tea Party-esque progressives MORE (W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyPruitt sworn in as EPA chief Dem senator: I may face 2018 primary from Tea Party-esque progressives Senate confirms Pruitt to lead EPA 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.”