- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sen. Claire McCaskill on Thursday slammed Sen. Bernard Sanders for complaining that the Democratic primary process is “rigged” against him, noting that his presidential campaign mostly wins closed caucuses contests.

“Where Bernie Sanders has done well is caucuses — and they are closed. You can’t go if you’re working. You can’t absentee vote. You can’t mail in your ballot,” the Missouri Democrat said on CBS’ “This Morning.”

“It is a very closed process and that’s the majority of the states he’s won, is the most closed process of all,” said Mrs. McCaskill, who is a ally of likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Sanders of Vermont has clashed with the Democratic Party over the primary system that he says is tilted in favor of Mrs. Clinton, who leads in the delegate hunt and is slowly closing in on the nomination.

The tensions between the two campaigns boiled over Saturday at the Nevada Democratic Convention in Las Vegas, when Mr. Sanders’ supporters verbally assaulted party leaders and threw chairs after the majority of delegates were awarded to Mrs. Clinton.

“I kind of agree with Bernie on this one. I think that Nevada was an aberration,” Mrs. McCaskill said. “I think that the millions of Bernie Sanders supporters are not people who want to resort to harassment and threats and throwing chairs. I do believe this was an outlier because I think the millions of people who support him are passionate and inspired by the message Bernie is delivering.”

Mrs. McCaskill said that although the “math” showed Mr. Sanders likely will not win the nomination, she understood that he wanted to finish the process. She predicted the party would come together after the final primaries on June 7.

The threat of likely GOP nominee Donald Trump becoming president should prod Mr. Sanders to get behind Mrs. Clinton’s run, Mrs. McCaskill said.

“Bernie has to look at a potential President Trump and go uh-oh, we’ve got to get busy and make sure that we never let Donald Trump, the reality TV star that is reckless and risky and is an anathema to the things we believe in, we can never let him set foot in the Oval Office,” she said. “And I’m just confident Bernie will be there when the time comes.”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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