The Buzz

Claire McCaskill: Jeff Roe’s tactics ‘beyond cruel and inappropriate’

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Sen. Claire McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill ripped Missouri GOP consultant Jeff Roe in comments to reporters in Kansas City Wednesday.

She was asked about the recent suicides of Tom Schweich and Spence Jackson, and the allegations that negative campaign tactics played a role in their deaths.

“I would hope the way we fix this is by people reacting with their votes,” she said. “If someone is running these nasty ads … people ought to vote against you. You ought to lose. That would clean it up very quickly.”

She then mentioned Roe by name. Roe helped produce an ad that compared Schweich to a bug and TV character Barney Fife.

“The Jeff Roes of the world are going to have to be convinced that these ads aren’t effective,” she said.

“Jeff Roe has been a bare-knuckled, brawler, political operative. He’s had success, he’s had flaming failures,” she said. “He obviously is pretty charismatic and convincing because a lot of people are charmed by him.

“I’m somebody who has seen him do things that are beyond cruel and inappropriate.”

A reporter asked McCaskill if she had done opposition research on Todd Akin, or other opponents.

“I don’t think anybody running for office in this country comes at this debate with clean hands. But it certainly has had an impact on me, what has occurred in this state. …

“Making fun of somebody’s appearance is always over the line. I just don’t think that ever works. I mean he was trying to diminish the man by making fun of the way he looked. Well that’s bad manners, and that’s called a bully on a playground. And that’s what we teach our kids not to do.”