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Monday, February 25, 2013

Senator Claire McCaskill: "The Violence Against Women Act is Way More Popular Than I Am"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Claire McCaskill talking to reporters on Friday. - SAM LEVIN
  • Sam Levin
  • Claire McCaskill talking to reporters on Friday.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt is not interested in passing a Violence Against Women Act that includes special protections for LGBT individuals and Native Americans, as we reported last week. When Daily RFT asked Blunt about it at the end of his recent press conference, he wasn't much interested in talking about it, either.

But Missouri's Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who has been a vocal supporter of VAWA, held a press conference in St. Louis devoted to the topic -- urging Congress to come together and pass the measure that provides protections for victims of domestic violence.

Asked if she thought there was a link between Republican opposition to VAWA and the "war on women," anti-abortion debates of last election, she said, "I think there is. But I will say one thing that I'm confident of: The Violence Against Women Act is way more popular than I am."

She continued, "And we did okay."

Why is VAWA more popular than McCaskill?

"Most people understand that there is value to being able to train and have these resources out there," she responded. "You cut this program now, then you are saying to the local and state governments, once again, we're going to ask you to do something that frankly, you don't have the capability of doing right now. And there's value, too, in the networking. You don't get statewide networks without some kind of resource that comes from outside.... We've been able to combine all of these resources and all of this training in a way that is shared across the country, and that makes this problem much more manageable than it would be otherwise."

click to enlarge Claire McCaskill alongside St. Louis VAWA supporters. - SAM LEVIN
  • Sam Levin
  • Claire McCaskill alongside St. Louis VAWA supporters.

A reporter followed up asking if VAWA criticisms reflect a view of women from those in the GOP that oppose.

"I could be really sarcastic here, but I won't, because if I do, you'll all quote me and then I'll regret it later," McCaskill responded.

"Oh, go ahead!" a reporter chimed in.

"I'm in a dangerous place. I'm at the beginning of a six-year term. I better be really careful!" she joked.

The leadership in the House, she continued, has not focused on issues that are "incredibly important to women."

"Is that diplomatic enough?" she added.

Continue for more on Claire McCaskill's press conference.

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