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Sen. Claire McCaskill Discusses Attack Ads, Health Care During Campaign Stop In Cape Girardeau

Katelyn Mary Skaggs/KRCU


Senator Claire McCaskill made a campaign stop at Port Cape Girardeau, a restaurant in downtown Cape, the morning of Oct. 30 to speak with supporters about the upcoming election and attack ads, along with the issue of health care. These are both heavily discussed topics in the Missouri senate race.

Campaign And Attack Ads

McCaskill began her visit by thanking her supporters who came out, especially those who have knocked on doors. She challenged supporters to talk to five people about her campaign.

“This election is more important than a typical midterm,” she said. “It is certainly important if you want to think about balance for our state. We have been a state, in my lifetime, that has always had both Democrats and Republicans in statewide office. Very few times has it been totally dominated by one party or the other and I think Missouri benefits from that balance.”

McCaskill said the experience she has as a U.S. Senator is being turned into something negative by GOP challenger Josh Hawley’s campaign.

“Josh Hawley can call me old all day, but I’ll tell you this: on how hard we are working on these campaigns, he can eat my dust,” she said.

She mentioned an advertisement being run by Hawley’s campaign which claims she doesn’t care about the bootheel. But she said the tape cut her off as she was about to say she was ‘going to work for every single vote’.

“I bet you that there are more than half the counties in this state that Josh Hawley has never stepped foot in,” she said.

Health Care

McCaskill stressed that, even when Hawley says he supports pre-existing conditions, his actions show he does not.

“Now there are things we need to fix about the ACA and you’ve heard me say it over and over again. I’m down for fixing the parts that don’t work as well. Particularly bring down the cost of the exchanges for people who don’t qualify for subsidies and there’s a way we can do that.”

Credit Katelyn Mary Skaggs/KRCU
Sen. McCaskill speaks with reporters at Port Cape after her visit.

McCaskill brought up Hawley's lawsuit saying that if Hawley’s suit is successful many people will not be able to get insurance and there will be “no backup.”

She said there is no question healthcare is the biggest issue this election.


Before McCaskill arrived, local members of the GOP, including Peter Kinder, former Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, were outside speaking about Hawley’s stance on several hot-button issues, and why his views are better than McCaskill’s.

“Claire McCaskill has implacably opposed him at every point on every issue that mattered,” said Kinder. “Her claims to be a moderate and a centrist are another of her election year ploys. They are not born out by the facts.”

Kinder said the Democrats ‘toss around charges of extremism,’ but McCaskill’s ‘stance on life is extremist.’ He also said her position on abortion is ‘radical,’ and does not match how southeast Missourians feel on the issue.

“No restrictions, full taxpayer funding, forced taxpayer funding of abortions on demand through the entire 9 months of pregnancy,” said Kinder. “Opposing a bill to deal with partial-birth abortion, which is aborting the baby as it passes through the birth canal, and is trying to gasp its first breaths outside the womb.”

Credit Katelyn Mary Skaggs/KRCU
Former Lieutenant Governor, Peter Kinder protests outside before McCaskill's arrival.

Kinder said this is a ‘radical position’ that places McCaskill at odds with the people of Missouri.

McCaskill responded to these claims by saying she feels Hawley’s views on the topic are extreme, and that they differ largely from hers.

“Josh Hawley believes that a woman should be prosecuted if she terminates a pregnancy because she was raped. Josh Hawley believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Josh Hawley believes the morning after pill should be illegal,” said McCaskill.

She also said she’s working to reduce abortions.

“I am somebody who has always said we need to all come together in the middle, and figure out how we reduce abortions,” she said. “That includes access to birth control. The way you reduce abortions is by having access to birth control. And so, I have voted to make sure that women can get birth control.”

McCaskill said since she has fought for access to birth control for family planning, the abortion rate and number of teenage pregnancies are at their lowest since Roe v. Wade was decided.

“I think that’s where we need to focus our energy on; not criminalizing women and doctors, particularly those who have been impregnated as a result of a rape,” said McCaskill.

McCaskill said she believes abortion is not a top issue for this election.

Credit Katelyn Mary Skaggs/KRCU
Sen. McCaskill speaks with supporters at Port Cape on Tuesday, Oct. 30.


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