Josh Hawley says Missourians deserve a no-frills, open-air debate on the issues between himself and his opponent in the U.S. Senate race – two-term Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.
Since the state's attorney general secured the Republican nomination in landslide fashion Tuesday, Hawley and McCaskill have invited each other to debate. But Hawley has challenged the senator to debate on a flatbed trailer his campaign plans to cart around the state – no moderators or any “stifling” rules.
One of the early stops of the Hawley's “Let's Debate” tour – Thursday afternoon at the Republican field office in Blue Springs.
Hawley told the crowd McCaskill needs to answer for her votes regarding Supreme Court justices and federal judges – “terrible,” he said – illegal immigration and health care.
“We have an immigration policy that doesn't work for Missouri workers,” he said. “She should come to this stage and explain this. Let's debate here; let's debate often; let's debate everywhere.
“What we do in November is going to set the direction of the country.”
McCaskill has offered a series of town halls, but Hawley said that should be just the beginning.
“She wants to do four town halls, and that's great, but it's not a debate,” he told reporters. “Let's just debate; let's not make it complicated.
“She's a good debater; she's good at talking. She's got to want this job; she needs to earn it. She's the incumbent, she has to answer for her record.”
Hawley said the upcoming election is about the middle class way of life, one he grew up with and one that “left-wing policies” are hurting. He added that both parties have put the country in its current state and he won't be beholden to any “establishment.”
“Both parties have been put on probation,” he said.
Hawley told reporters he's proud of his work in his short time as Missouri’s attorney general, including cases against “big pharma” and Google, and he said his office's work won't wane while he his campaigning.
“The work of the office goes forward,” he said, citing the thousands of cases on attorneys' desks and multiple investigations. “We're not holding up.”