Previously: Sen. Claire McCaskill at Standard Sheet Metal in Kansas City – 8/8/12 (August 8, 2012)
After her opening remarks this morning at Standard Sheet Metal in Kansas City Senator Claire McCaskill (D) took questions from the media.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) speaking on the shop floor at Standard Sheet Metal in Kansas City, Missouri this morning.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Yes, yes. Uh, Truth, Truth About Akin. Um, you know, I think that a lot of these negative ads are full of lies and distortions and we’re gonna try to be very old fashioned about this. I’m gonna run this campaign like I used to run my cases as a prosecutor here in Jackson County. Just the evidence, folks, just the evidence.
And most of the things that we will put on the web site about Truth About Akin, it will be his votes, it will be his words, not our words, but his words. Uh, the things he’s said about student loans being like the third stage of cancer of socialism. Um, very, very out of the main stream ways of looking at something basic like, uh, a young person having a federal guarantee on a student loan…
…Question: Senator, you, Senator, uh, he’s the one, uh, who’s already saying you’re the one who’s out of the main stream when it comes to health care reform. He says you backed health care reform, Missourians clearly don’t want it, you’re the one out of the main stream, not Todd Akin. What do you say to that.
Senator McCaskill: Well, I, I think everybody in Missouri knows that I believe that the health care reform will make things better for Missouri families if they will give it a chance. I continue to believe that is the case. They’ve gotten a lot of misinformation about this reform. Um, and, and Todd Akin still can’t answer the question, what do we do with the young man that shows up at the emergency room with traumatic injuries, that has chosen not to buy insurance? Um, do we turn him away? Or do we continue to pay his bills for him? Uh, Todd Akin liked the idea of a mandate when it came from the Heritage Foundation. Um, he just doesn’t like the idea of a mandate when it comes from a Democratic president.
Question: Actually, Senator, he said that he looked at a mandate in terms that it was unconstitutional, not that he liked it.
Senator McCaskill: Well, um, it, it’s interesting because he clearly talked to a reporter and said that that’s something that, that should be considered. So, may, I think he changed his mind because he put his finger in the, in the wind. Um, I’m, you know, this is Harry Truman’s seat and I really do believe that sometimes it’s important to not just poll what you believe. I really do believe that, like Medicare and Social Security that were very unpopular when they were passed, if Missourians will just give this a chance they’re gonna be very pleasantly surprised.
Question: Senator, almost the first words out of Congressman Akin’s mouth last night was he was thanking God for his good fortune. What kind of role do you anticipate religion playing in this campaign?
Senator McCaskill: Oh, I, I, um, I’m a woman of faith. And I, um, I respect Todd Akin’s faith. I don’t think anybody should ever question anyone’s faith. I do think it is, um, unfortunate that Todd Akin would say that in the heart of every liberal is a hatred of God. While I’m proud to be a moderate I certainly know a lot of liberals that worship Jesus Christ and believe very much in their religion. And I think to cast aspersions on anyone because of their faith would be, uh, something I would never be comfortable with. I respect Todd Akin’s faith, and I know that he is sincere.
Question: Do you think relgion’s going to be an issue?
Senator McCaskill: I, I, I, I don’t know that it will be. I think it’s, um, uh, it’s not something that, while I hold my faith as very important in my life, it’s not something that I typically campaign with. But, I certainly respect his decision to do so.
Question: Claire, Crossroads GPS is going up with another ad today accusing you of voting many times to raise taxes. Are you gonna fight back against this [inaudible]? Do you have a new ad coming out [inaudible]?
Senator McCaskill: Well, um, I, I think that Crossroads is wearing out their welcome in Missouri. Um, if you look at Todd Akin’s campaign, I mean, he ran positive ads. Uh, there were no negative ads run, um, uh, for Todd Akin or by Todd Akin. And, I, I think that, um, that Crossroads is distorting my record. I’ve voted for over a trillion dollars in tax cuts since I’ve been in Washington, mostly for the middle class. And while Todd Akin didn’t support the payroll tax and was conflicted about the payroll tax cut, I believe payroll tax cuts are important because they reach so many Missourians. Ninety-eight percent, ninety-five percent of Missourians enjoy those tax cuts. So, I have voted for many tax cuts, including tax cuts for this, businesses like this. So I am really, really committed to making sure these tax cuts are focused on the middle class and small businesses.
Now, on the other hand, Todd Akin, um, in his architect, he was an architect in the Republican budget, uh, that continues to give big taxpayer checks to oil companies. And he is refusing to lock in tax breaks for ninety-eight percent of America because he’s so worried about the two percent mega millionaires at the very top. He and I differ on tax policy. But I think, uh, I certainly have a strong record of cutting taxes for the middle class and for small businesses.
Question: Are you gonna let those ads run unopposed for the next couple weeks or are you gonna counter that on TV?
Senator McCaskill: Well, we will, we will, uh, put advertising back up on TV, um, I don’t know that we are gonna bother with a lot of this anonymous money attacks. I, I really think Missourians are smart enough to know if, if somebody is not willing to say they’re paying for an ad you probably don’t need to believe a word that’s in the ad.
Question: Claire, I know you have conference call in a short bit of time so I don’t have to get on that as well. Could you tell what action you’re taking with the, uh, the, the immigration girl?
Senator McCaskill: Yeah. I, I, um, I have a conference call in just a, a few, I think, in about a half hour, uh, with Lauren Gray and her family and, uh, they have been given a deferral. She has been given a deferral and she will be allowed to stay in, uh, the United States and she will get a work permit. So, as a recent college graduate she now can, uh, go out and get employment and remain in the United States.
Question: And is that a result of a request you put in, that you got [inaudible]?
Senator McCaskill: I certainly worked very hard to help her get the deferral. I, um, I, I, you know, I’m a little uncomfortable taking credit for it. I know that Congressman [Todd] Graves wanted to help, too. But I had a conversation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and said, something’s wrong here, if a young lady like this is being forced to leave the country. And, uh, the Secretary of, uh, Homeland Security agreed with me.
Question: Senator, you, you have a [inaudible] today, and secondly, do you have a statewide tour coming up, what, next week, do I understand?
Senator McCaskill: Correct, correct.
Question: Could you tell me what [crosstalk]…?
Senator McCaskill: Um, uh, today I’ll be here in the Kansas City area. Uh, and then, uh, back, uh, in St. Louis, uh, tomorrow. Then I will be on the road beginning on Monday and I will be traveling the state for an entire week, including something I’m really looking forward to. I’m hooking up the RV and camping overnight at the State Fair next week. [laughter] And we’re gonna invite everybody at the State Fair to come by the RV and, uh, grab a lawn chair, and, um, I’m gonna try to bake some cookies and, uh, hang out at the RV. And we’re gonna spend the night, uh, in the camp ground. So, I’m looking forward to that.
Question: That tour is statewide next [crosstalk]…?
Senator McCaskill: Statewide. Statewide. We’ll be going to every corner of the state, uh, very small communities and some very large communities. It’s going to based on agriculture.
Um, you know, I have a very strong record supporting Missouri’s agriculture. Todd Akin has a very poor record supporting Missouri agriculture. So, I believe there’s some real contrast to be drawn there.
Anything else? And I want to thank everybody for being here today. Thank you. [applause]
Senator McCaskill received a brief tour of machinery on the shop floor after the media question and answer session.