Updated 8:38 p.m.
NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer weighed in with the first lengthy criticism of McCaskill from the national party structure since NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) effectively called the race a bad investment in an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“Sen. McCaskill should apologize to the people of Missouri who sent her to Washington to rein in the size of the federal government, not to max out the government credit card and then get richer off of it,” Jesmer said. “This is just the latest in a long line of broken promises to Missourians and hypocritical conduct in Washington by Claire McCaskill.”
The Associated Press reported today that after analyzing public records, they found almost $40 million had gone to companies associated with the McCaskill family. Many of the entities were involved in affordable housing, which depends on public money to operate. The AP report said it found no reason to suspect improper activity by McCaskill.
After the story first appeared, McCaskill told the AP that only a small portion of her husband’s investments had any relation to subsidized housing and that any related votes were on much larger spending bills.
“If you really boil this down, it is a small fractional interest in a number of housing projects that had ongoing contracts with the federal government that appropriations bills funded,” she said. “This isn’t like I had some role in some discretionary decision.”
McCaskill’s campaign also said the money received from the federal projects was for maintaining and improving the housing developments.
The story underscores the problem facing national Republicans. They think McCaskill can be defeated, but the problematic Senate campaign of GOP Rep. Todd Akin has left them on the sidelines. Jesmer did not mention Akin in his statement against McCaskill.
Aside from the AP story, the press has focused on Akin’s conservative positions on social policy issues and his statement from weeks ago about the rarity of pregnancy resulting from “legitimate rape” rather than on McCaskill’s record and the economy. For instance, a newspaper editorial board asked Akin on Monday about what he would do in the event his daughter was raped, which has been a favorite topic of left-wing bloggers.