North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said on a radio show this week that it’s past time for Hillary Clinton to exit the political landscape.
Heitkamp, who is facing a tough re-election race in a state Donald Trump won in 2016, was asked Tuesday by her brother, KFGO host Joel Heitkamp, when Clinton will “ride off into the sunset.”
“I don’t know, not soon enough, I guess,” she responded.
The host asked, “What’s the answer?”
And Heitkamp said again: “Not soon enough.”
The comment came as Joel Heitkamp pointed to Clinton’s remarks during a recent speech in India about why the middle of the country voted for Trump in 2016.
“I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product,” Clinton said. “So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards. You know, ‘You didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want to, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are. Whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.’”
“I mean, she’s bashing the middle of the country and my state again. I don’t need her to do that,” the host said during the exchange about Clinton that began about 12 minutes and 30 seconds into the interview.
“Yeah, I know,” Heidi Heitkamp responded.
It’s a much different tone than Heitkamp struck about Clinton prior to the 2016 election. She said at an event with female Democratic senators endorsing Clinton in November 2015 that “we’re supporting Hillary Clinton because she is going to be one of the greatest presidents of the United States of America that we have ever seen.”
But Heitkamp did criticize Clinton in September 2016, after she referred to half of Trump’s supporters as being part of a “basket of deplorables.”
“I think it was a wrong thing to say,” Heitkamp said in a radio interview at the time. “I think that it ignores the very true concerns that we have about needing change in this country. I think that it was ill-advised.”
Heitkamp campaign spokeswoman Julia Krieger told CNN in a statement, “Heidi will never stand for comments that insult North Dakotans and rural America – no matter who, or which party, they come from.”
There are 10 Democratic senators in states Trump won who are up for re-election this November, and several others criticized Clinton’s remarks this week, too.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown told the Huffington Post: “I don’t really care what she said. I just think that that’s not helpful.”
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill told reporters on Capitol Hill when asked about Clinton’s comments: “Oh, come on,” adding, “You’re killing me here.”