ICYMI: Confident Josh Hawley Kicks Off Campaign With Focus on Claire McCaskill’s Record

Hawley says he will fight for America’s heartland, labels McCaskill an ‘eager ally’ of coastal elites

By Brent Scher
Washington Free Beacon
March 16, 2018 5:00 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was a big week for Missouri’s Republican attorney general Josh Hawley, who on Tuesday traveled across the state to kick off his campaign to unseat longtime incumbent senator Claire McCaskill (D.) and then welcomed President Donald Trump to the state for a Wednesday fundraiser for his campaign.

Hawley’s statewide tour began at Dynamic Fastener, a commercial construction supplier headquartered about 45 minutes west of the small town of Lexington, where Hawley grew up. His message was simple—Missouri is part of the American heartland that is now “disrespected and disregarded” by the liberal elites, who have McCaskill as their “eager ally.”


McCaskill, who emerged as the first senator to endorse Clinton’s presidential run by labeling herself “Ready for Hillary” in June 2013, quickly criticized the way Clinton talked about Missouri voters. But Hawley said the comments were “so typical” of the liberal elite class of which McCaskill is now part.

“She tries to talk differently when she’s in the state,” Hawley said in an interview on his campaign bus as we headed to his final event. “But she’s starting to let her true colors show.”

Hawley pointed to McCaskill’s interview with MSNBC last week when she said Missouri voted for Trump because people are “cynical.”

He said that part of his campaign’s challenge will be cutting through the media presentation of McCaskill as a centrist who wants to work across the aisle, even though the facts aren’t there to back up that image.

“It’s a leftist Washington press corps that’s in the tank for her, she goes to the cocktail parties, and they like her,” he said. “They take everything she says at face value, even if there are no facts to support it.”

Hawley is hopeful, however, that the facts will prevail: “As an attorney, facts are stubborn things. In this case, the facts are on our side, and we will be relentless in putting the facts forward. Her record is what it is, the needs of the people of Missouri are what they are, and those two things could not be farther apart.”

Hawley pointed to McCaskill’s record over her now 12 years in the Senate and said she’s “never reached across the aisle on any issue of consequence.”

“If she really wanted to work across party lines, she could do it,” he said. “I think her record speaks for itself in terms of being totally out of step with Missouri voters. I think it’s just what she believes.”

The voters who showed up at Hawley’s Tuesday rallies across the board brought up McCaskill’s record as the main reason they were there.

“She’ll go on camera and say how she supports Missouri every chance she gets, and then a bill comes up and she votes against us every single time,” said Pat Brady, who lives an hour south of Springfield and came wearing a “deplorables” t-shirt featuring the Founding Fathers. “She’s a typical Democrat.”

“McCaskill doesn’t want the average American citizen to keep their money,” she continued. “She thinks she knows how to spend our money better than we do—I wouldn’t trust her to hold the door open for me.”