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Truman Days in Kansas City – 2012 – photos (May 12 2012)

Truman Days in Kansas City – 2012 – photos – part 2 (May 13, 2012)

“…And I want to spend just a minute talking about the three people on the other side of this race. Most of you don’t know them yet. And I don’t know who will eventually be the nominee. But I gotta tell you the truth, I’ve been paying pretty close attention as you guys might imagine. And you know what these three, three people do? They make John Ashcroft look like a liberal. [laughter]…”

Senator Claire McCaskill (D), working the room before dinner at the Jackson County Democratic Committee’s

Truman Days dinner in Kansas City on May 12, 2012.

The transcript of Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D) remarks:

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): ….now Mom is gonna get out on the campaign trail. Uh, the RV is being wrapped as we speak. And, um, but she got a little nervous about what was going on, she started seeing the TV ads. She said, get a camera in here, I think I need to cut a commercial. [laughter] So we brought a camera in and mom did as she, you all know she can do, talked to the camera as if it was her best friend. And she looked at the camera and these guys are filming and she says, now, I told you six years ago that Claire had guts, I was right, now I want to tell you I’m not gonna be out campaigning as much ’cause I’m stove up with, with arthritis. And these guys doing the camera look over at me and they go, what is stove up with arthritis? [laughter] I said, don’t worry, the people who need to know about this ad, they know what it means. Out in the Ozarks they know what it is to be stove up…

…You know, um, the TV commercials are amazing, aren’t they? Millions and millions of dollars of anonymous ads. Citizens United will go down in history as one of the worst Supreme Court cases ever decided by our United States Supreme Court. [applause] It doesn’t make sense to me that anybody could come into Missouri anonymously and buy millions and millions and millions of dollars worth of advertising and never get to find out who’s paying for it. Now that’s just weird. And I gotta tell you the truth, if Missourians found out who was paying for these ads I think they’d be proud of me. [voice: “yeah”] [voice: “They are proud of you.”] [laughter] I think they’d like the enemies I’ve made. [applause] ‘Cause I guarantee the people paying for these ads, they’re not worried about looking after you. There’s only one thing they’re looking after and it has to do with looking in the mirror. Money and the mirror.

So, it is really important that we don’t get distracted by all these ads, ’cause you know what, advertisements don’t elect people, people do. And we can’t forget that. And, by the way, I know if the people of this state believe in me this will not be as hard as it looks from all the talking heads in Washington. So let’s hear it for the people instead of the people in the back room [applause] with all the money buying the anonymous ads.

Several people have mentioned, um, the labor unions and middle class. And our Congressman [Emanuel Cleaver] just did a great job talking about the importance of people being able to collectively come together for good wages and working conditions. And I gotta tell you, we’ve got a guy running for president and we’ve got three people running right now to run against me and none of them thought the American automobile industry was worth saving. Not one of them. And if we just look as far as the Ford plant, a billion dollars being invested in the Ford plant right now. Good jobs. And by the way, did you notice what happened a few months ago? General Motors became number one in the world. [applause] Made in America sounds pretty good. That would not have happened if Mitt Romney were president. [voices” No.”] That would not have happened if the United States Senate was controlled by Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. It was a good investment. Don’t ever bet against America. It was a good investment.

Now, we, um, we need to talk about fairness. We need to talk about less spending. We need to talk about a balanced pragmatic approach. And I want to spend just a minute talking about the three people on the other side of this race. Most of you don’t know them yet. And I don’t know who will eventually be the nominee. But I gotta tell you the truth, I’ve been paying pretty close attention as you guys might imagine. And you know what these three, three people do? They make John Ashcroft look like a liberal. [laughter] They are fighting to be the tea party candidate. One of them got the Tea Party Express endorsement. That’s a big tea party group, a national tea party group, lot of money, lot of sway in the tea party community. And when she got the tea party endorsement the other two said, well, that’s not the real tea party, we are the real tea party people. [laughter] Then another one of them got Freedom Works, the other large national tea party group. And the third one? He just managed to get the endorsement of Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann. [laughter] That’s the lineup, folks. It’s pretty extreme.

I honestly know this state very well. And no one will convince me that they majority of Missourians want us to turn out the lights on the federal government, privatize Medicare and Social Security, and decide that Pell Grants are no longer important. Now [applause], I, uh, I thought it was interesting the other day when my opponents were asked about the interest rates going up on student loans, and all three of them in unison said, well, the best thing to happen would be for the government to get totally out of the student loan business, you know, if the private sector would just take over the student loan business there would be more competition and it work better because we all know that the federal government is bad and evil and we need to get ’em out of the student loan business. And you know, I, I was thinking about that and I thought, you know, that’s really interesting. I have not met very many bankers that want to loan money to a high school graduate. [laughter]  So they actually are trying to convince people that if the federal government was not guaranteeing these loans that private banks would be competing for high school graduates whose families can’t afford to send them to college. [laughter] Now you talk about set us back. Let’s cut off student loans to our kids across this country and then see how quickly we become a third tier nation. We have to invest in our kids. [applause, cheers]

We can do all this. We can out educate, we can out innovate, and we can invest in our infrastructure, our roads and our bridges. We can cut spending and we can make our tax system more fair. But it’s gonna take compromise. It’s gonna take somebody who is not afraid to hang out in the middle. It’s gonna take somebody who says, not, it’s my way or the highway, but, let’s build some highways. [voices: “Yeah.”] That’s what we have to have. [applause]

If you guys will just focus for the next six months and realize that if we don’t have a good year in Missouri we may never be called a swing state again. And if you want to know what that feels like, ask any of these Missouri legislators. Ask them what it’s like down in Jefferson City with the folks that are in the legislature and the agenda they have. Have you read some of the stuff they put in? I mean, almost ev
ery week a Missouri legislator is the funniest bit on Colbert and The Daily Show. People in Washington say to me, well, they, they were making that up, weren’t they? I said, no, they weren’t making it up. It’s real. So we gotta work hard you guys.

And if I’ve lost my voice in May [laughter], can you imagine how hard I’m willing to work? [laughter] I will work as hard as I know how and you guys know I can work hard. They won’t outwork us, they won’t outsmart us, and with all of you, what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna hold on to Harry Truman’s Senate seat [applause] [inaudible] Democrats and the country. [applause]

And I, I honestly will tell you that next year, when I come back to celebrate the twenty-sixth year of Truman Days as your United States Senator my voice will be fine [laughter] and I’ll give you one hell of a stem winder, I promise. [laughter, applause, cheers]….