Content Warning: This article includes descriptions of transphobic language.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just shut down former Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill for making transphobic and misleading comments about the 2020 election results.

McCaskill went on MSNBC Wednesday evening and argued that Democrats’ focus on “cultural issues” has alienated some of their voters, who were then driven to join the Republican party.

“Whether you are talking guns or issues surrounding abortion in this country or things like gay marriage and [rights] for trans*xuals and other people who, we as a party, have tried to ‘look after’ and make sure they are treated fairly,” she said in an interview. “As we circled those issues, we left some voters behind and Republicans dove in with a vengeance and grabbed those voters.”

McCaskill then went on to claim that this phenomenon has happened in the South and “rural areas” of Missouri. “We gotta get back to the meat and potatoes issues, we need to get back to the issues where we are taking care of their families,” she continued, “and we need to stop acting like we’re smarter than everyone else because we’re not.”

McCaskill’s comments drew major backlash on social media, not only for her use of the terms “trans*xual,” which some transgender people find offensive and outdated, but for also using LGBTQ+ rights and other issues as a scapegoat for why the Democratic party has lost voters. She apologized for using the “hurtful term” in a Thursday morning tweet but maintained that “people have misinterpreted” what she was trying to say. “Our party should never leave behind our fight 4 equality for trans people or anyone else who has been marginalized by hate,” she wrote.

Still, Ocasio-Cortez swooped in Thursday afternoon to offer her own criticisms of McCaskill’s statements and swiftly put the moderate centrist Democrat in her place.

“Why do we listen to people who lost elections as if they are experts in winning elections?” the first-term House representative asked in a tweet. “McCaskill tried her approach. She ran as a caravan-hysteria Dem [and] lost while grassroots organizers won progressive measures in [Missouri]. Her language here shows how she took her base for granted.”

McCaskill, who served as a Missouri Senator for 12 years starting in 2007, was defeated by Republican challenger Josh Hawley when she sought reelection in 2018. At the time, she even backed up Trump’s opinions on immigration in a bid to save her seat and denounced “crazy Democrats” for opposing the president.



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