Chris Koster (D) took questions from the media yesterday evening after his campaign event in Columbia, Missouri:
Question: ….Four years ago I covered, uh, events with, uh, Jay Nixon and Claire McCaskill was two blocks away and they weren’t in the same place and the, it seemed like that Jay Nixon was running without the rest of the Democratic Party. Um, how, is it important for you to bring the rest of the party along with you this time?
Chris Koster (D): Well, I made it, we’re gonna, uh, to work together as a team. As you know I have been more involved with, uh, party matters than Governor Nixon has been. And I think it’s important, uh, that, you know, both the Republican and Democratic organizations play a different but important role in this state and these organizations need to, uh, be, have a full voice and to, and to express that voice, uh, on behalf of the entirety of the state. With regard to the statewide ticket, I will be campaigning with my colleagues, um, and I look forward to it. Uh, I was very excited about, uh, some of the results on, um, on Tuesday night. Um, Teresa [Hensley], I think, is gonna make a, a terrific General Election candidate. And I look forward to getting out on the road with everybody.
Question: And, uh, how important is it to you to pick up the ten to fifteen seats in the, uh, in the legislature’s two chambers that can give the Democrats the strength to at least possibly sustain your vetoes if you have, if it comes to that?
Chris Koster (D): Well, I have to have realistic, uh, expectations about what two thousand and sixteen will bring. I, I don’t think that this is something that can be done all in, in, uh, a single, uh, election cycle. But, what I, what I do want is for people who care about public education, higher education here in Columbia, and looking over there at my alma mater, um, a rational plan for funding roads, and for health, health care investment to have a voice in state government. What I’m trying to do is just to bring balance back to this government. I, as you know, I was, uh, nine years ago I was a leader of the Republicans in the Missouri Senate. I believe in a small fiscal conservative efficient government. But there’s more than small government that is demanded of governmental leaders. There is also issues of workforce development, investment in education, investment in infrastructure, which I consider to be MODOT, and healthcare. And then, and then making sure that we are not sending out cultural signals from Jefferson City that are alienating young people. Um, you know, when I was, when I was a member of the, uh, majority party it was the issue of, it was the desire to lock up medical researchers, um, who were conducting stem cell research in diabetes and spinal cord injury that was the cultural signal of the day that drove me away. Uh, now it, there are issues of codifying a, a subtle discrimination against the, the gay community in the state’s Constitution so that it’s there for the next hundred years. That these are the, the cultural, uh, cultural signals that are being sent out of Jefferson City that I, I don’t think are helping our state. And so, we want to get back to the business of promoting business. It’s been a couple of years now since anything close to a significant economic development bill has come out of the majority in the General Assembly. The party of business is spending too much time on issues of cultural division and not on issues of bringing Missouri together. Finally, today’s Farm Bureau, um, decision is an example that this state wants to find cooperation again, and wants to bring the, the two parties together for the benefit of the whole state.
Question: And second, and finally, have you rented a machine gun for your commercials yet?
Chris Koster (D): No, I, I scratch my head over that. I, I can’t imagine that John Ashcroft would ever do sit ups, uh, as, in an effort to show that he is the most meritorious, uh, gentleman to lead this state. I don’t think that, um, Mel Carnahan would have ever shot a machine gun to prove that he was a leader for his time. Uh, the whole thing makes me scratch my head, but, you know, they passed over a lot of people with a lot of talent, uh, to choose a motivational speaker, um, who wants to blow up Jefferson City, as their flag ship.
Question: ….Do you think it will be a lot of attack ad based, like, what do you, what are you expecting from Republicans and what will your strategy be as well?
Chris Koster (D): Well, you heard my remarks in there. What we’re trying to talk about are things that matter to Missourians. When I’m out in rural Missouri most conservative, and many of them, Republican farmers, ask me the same series of questions. They say, are, are you gonna be irresponsible with the fiscal situation, are you gonna raise our income taxes? And I say, no, I was in favor of the tax cuts of two thousand and fourteen, I was out working in a bipartisan way to lower taxes to their lowest level since nineteen twenty-one. And then they ask, well, are you gonna take our, our guns away? And I say, well, I, look, I am a protector of the Second Amendment and have been for twenty-two, twenty-five years as a public, or twenty-two years as a public official. Then the third question is, okay, how are you gonna get money to our schools? Why are our roads crumbling? Why are our hospitals closing? These are the concerns that all Missourians, including rural Missourians, have around state government. There are some base line issues of fiscal conservatism and protection of individual rights that they care about deeply, but after that, the concerns of all Missourians are the same. Keeping people healthy, getting folks educated, and making sure the roads work.
Okay, thanks, everybody.
Chris Koster (D) in Columbia, Missouri – August 5, 2016 (August 6, 2016)
Chris Koster (D) – video by Jerry Schmidt – 8/5/2016 (August 6, 2016)