Biden slated to campaign for McCaskill, highlighting her ties with White House
Vice President Joe Biden will be headlining a fundraising event for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in Kansas City on July 9 – an event that could quell talk about strains between her and the White House.
McCaskill, D-Mo., has been under fire all week after she went public with her decision to skip the Democratic presidential convention in September and her general silence over Thursday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.
In fact, her statement about Biden’s appearance was far more detailed than her campaign’s comments this week about the health-care measure.
“It's always a pleasure to welcome Vice President Joe Biden to the great state of Missouri, and I am humbled by his support for my re-election campaign,” said McCaskill. “Whether it was during our time together in the Senate or over the past four years, Vice President Biden has been a good friend and a strong advocate for middle-class families across America.”
“Like me, Vice President Biden has always worked to achieve commonsense, compromise solutions to the challenges we face and it's an honor that he's willing to come to Kansas City and help my campaign,” she added.
McCaskill noted that Biden’s appearance, at a private home, will mark the first time he has joined her at a campaign event.
McCaskill is kicking off her re-election bid Saturday when she launches a lengthy RV trip around the state -- a replay of her campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2006.
President Barack Obama has headlined several campaign events for McCaskill before and after his election. He drew a huge crowd at a St. Louis campaign event for her in 2005, and she was a prominent congressional surrogate during his 2008 campaign.
But their relationship has, at least publicly, been more distant in recent years. McCaskill has acknowledged some policy differences while Republicans contend that she has sought to distance herself in the wake of the continued controversy over the health-care law and other measures – such as the stimulus packages – that she did support.
McCaskill’s three chief Republican opponents – businessman John Brunner, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Wildwood – have repeated attacked her votes on such measures.
McCaskill’s campaign said that Biden “will be able to help present the choice Missourians have in November between a senator, like Claire, who has fought tirelessly for Missouri's middle-class families and the three extreme Republican candidates who are competing to be a rubberstamp vote for special interests in Washington.”
On MSNBC this week, McCaskill repeated her frequent assertion to reporters that she has asked Obama to come to Missouri to campaign for her before the November election.
Still, any photos of her with Biden will likely prompt fewer attacks from Republicans and allied groups.