Former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill made her debut appearance on Morning Joe Tuesday in her new role as political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. The long-time politician offered insight into the ongoing government shutdown, which is now the longest in history.
Morning Joe regular Willie Geist asked McCaskill about the effects on real people of the government shutdown, including TSA agents working with no pay, many of whom have called in sick rather than work without receiving a salary.
“Unlike the President, the members [of Congress] that returned to work this week, they came through airports,” McCaskill said. “Every member flies through their commercial airports in their states. And they know those TSA agents. They go through every week. They’re your friends. And so, I think that’s a good reminder for the members, being face to face with people who are on the front lines of national security. I think that the more you make an effort to get out there and talk to the people who work for the IRS, and the people who work, in my state, the Department of Agriculture.”
“I don’t think the President thinks about those people at all,” she said. “The thing that’s most insulting is when he throws off a one-liner, ‘Well, they’re all Democrats.’ I mean, give me a break. These people are not making a lot of money. These people are providing public service. And the notion that we think it’s OK that this is part of their job, that they’re supposed to take out pay day loans to pay the rent or pay the mortgage? We’re putting so many families in this kind of stress.”
Geist asked why Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have said they won’t budge until President Trump does.
“I think that he tried to fix it behind the scenes, that’s the unanimous vote that occurred,” McCaskill said. “He saw this coming and knew it was going to be bad. He tried to fix it and then the President took the other direction because he was afraid of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. And then he did what he did and now Mitch McConnell has just been trying to lay low.”
“What I really believe is his time for laying low is over and no-one should let him lay low anymore. This should be all about hanging this around Mitch McConnell’s neck at this point.”
“Again, the people’s lives who are being disrupted, their lives are being disrupted, mortgages are not getting paid, rent is not getting paid, perhaps tuition to their children’s schools not getting pad because Donald Trump freaked out after the Senate had passed something that he agreed to because a couple of talk show hosts got upset at him,” host Joe Scarborough added.
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.