“What my party needs to do is remember we need to stay on offense on extreme elements in the Republican Party,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Wednesday. “My race is a poster child of that effort and I think it shows you can be successful.”
McCaskill won her battle against Rep. Todd Akin after Akin admitted he didn’t believe women could be impregnated from a rape, earning him months of sharp criticisms from women’s rights and medical professionals alike.
“Why do the Republicans keep putting up these candidates?” Morning Joe contributor Steve Rattner asked.
“Because the base of the Republican Party believes what they believe,” McCaskill said.
But the Republicans will have trouble balancing their stark conservatism with fiscal cliff negotiations, where compromise is needed on all sides.
“The alternative is worse. The alternative is worse for Republicans,” McCaskill said. “If they do not make this deal for tax rates for the top 2%, then they’re going to go away and then we’re going to come back and we’re going to pass tax cuts for everybody under $250,000, so it’s going to happen.”
But even if Republicans stick with extreme views that don't lend well to compromise, ABC's Cokie Roberts suggests that a majority of the House's Republicans may not be needed for a deal.
“Speakers have [used small minorities of their party to pass a bill] for generations,” she said. “It was abhorrent, that was the oddity, to have the majority of the majority, to put together different coalitions on different issues is normal.”