Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on Thursday morning criticized the co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for criticizing Hillary Clinton’s latests stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and not focusing enough on Republicans who change their positions.
McCaskill suggested that the show’s coverage of Clinton was “unfair” after the presidential candidate on Wednesday announced that she opposes the Pacific trade deal. Clinton supported the administration’s efforts to negotiate the TPP as secretary of state, but she also expressed some skepticism about earlier versions of the deal in her book, “Hard Choices.” After Clinton’s Wednesday announcement, some accused her of flip-flopping.
McCaskill added that “Morning Joe” has not spent enough time covering Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who she said “twist and distort themselves to appeal to the same people who want to elect Donald Trump president.”
Co-host Joe Scarborough responded by noting that Clinton is “not the only one who flip-flops,” but added that she took a long time to come out with stances on the TPP and on the Keystone pipeline.
McCaskill said that Clinton has expressed skepticism over other trade deals in the past and said it’s not fair to “pick on her” for coming to a conclusion against the TPP.
“I really don’t think that this is an indication that she is somehow unprincipled or weak,” the senator said.
When Scarborough noted that Clinton supported the TPP as secretary of state, McCaskill said, “The notion that as a secretary of state in a different administration that wanted to get a strong deal — that somehow that removes her ability to make an independent analysis as an independent candidate for president is just unfair.”
“I just wish we would have the same kind of time talking about some of the distortions and the pretzel-like behavior of some of the candidates in the Republican primary that you guys spend on Hillary,” McCaskill later added. “It’s ridiculous.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski pushed back and said that McCaskill misinterpreted “questions” about Clinton’s opinions as “attacks.”
McCaskill said she felt that “there aren’t enough voices taking the counter position” during discussions on Clinton on the show.
Watch part of the tense exchange via MSNBC: