Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) highlighted the night-and-day reactions to the indictments of Donald Trump and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) by their respective parties.
On Thursday, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked McCaskill about new surveys of New Jersey Democratic voters. Just 5% of respondents in one poll said they would vote for Menendez in a future primary contest; 9% said they would in another poll.
“This is the way it’s supposed to work,” said McCaskill, a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. “I mean, one party, you have people who want the norms of ethical behavior and the respect for the rule of law, and, frankly, the sense that whether he did something legal or not, what’s in that indictment makes him unattractive to vote for as a United States senator.”
“On the other hand, you’ve got a guy indicted” on 91 felony counts, she continued, pointing to Trump’s four criminal indictments, “and his party wants to bring him back to the Capitol and have him in charge of the only part of government they control.”
Menendez has refused to resign or cease seeking reelection despite being indicted on bribery charges last month.
Trump is making a bid for the presidency again even though he’s been charged with allegedly attempting a coup, falsifying business records, mishandling classified documents and conspiring to overturn Georgia’s election results.
Both Menendez and Trump deny all wrongdoing.
But lawmakers and voters from their respective parties have responded very differently to the criminal allegations. More than half of Menendez’s colleagues in the Senate have called for his resignation.
Meanwhile, Trump is the front-runner in the GOP presidential race, polling at over 50% to win the party’s nomination.
A majority of his opponents said they would still back him as nominee even if he’s convicted.
Several members of the House Republican conference have in recent days proposed installing Trump as House speaker following Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s ouster.
Trump said Thursday he would temporarily take the job “if necessary,” but went on to endorse Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for gavel in the early hours of Friday morning.
Watch McCaskill’s commentary on MSNBC below.