Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Response from Claire McCaskill, Candidate for United States Senator

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

My career has never been about checking boxes to be the first or seeking political popularity– it’s been about doing what’s right and fighting on behalf of Missourians. In 2006, I became the first woman elected to the Senate from Missouri. I began my tenure by leading a six-year-long battle to rein in wasteful wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan and addressed tens of billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. I turned the magnifying glass back on Washington by leading a Senate panel to root out waste, fraud and abuse of power in every federal agency. I led the successful effort to oust the failed leadership at Arlington National Cemetery over mismarked and unmarked gravesites for military veterans, and transformed it into a cutting-edge facility. And in 2012, I took down Todd Akin–the extreme right-wing Republican who infamously argued that victims of “legitimate rape” have a way to “shut down” resulting pregnancies. I’ve since continued fighting in the Senate to curb sexual assault in our military and on our college and university campuses. Throughout my career, I’ve fought for and alongside Missourians to deliver real progress. I’m committed to fighting for transparency, fairness and stronger accountability to give Americans more confidence in their federal government. I maintain strong roots in Missouri and return home nearly every weekend to spend time with my husband, Joseph, and our blended family of seven children and eleven wonderful grandchildren.

2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I am a daughter of rural Missouri who has fought and achieved concrete results for my state. I’ve been unafraid to go after anyone or anything to do what's right for Missouri, and to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. I understand that Missourians are my bosses -- and I have showed up in every corner of the state to hear their concerns and ideas, and bring their voices back to Washington. I make it a point to listen to all Missourians. Throughout my time in the Senate, I have delivered several key victories for Missourians: from successfully targeting abuse by credit card companies and fraudulent robocalls, to my work to curb sexual assaults in the military and on college campuses, to the Arla Harrell Act -- the culmination of a two-year battle to deliver decades-overdue relief to veterans intentionally exposed to mustard gas during World War II. I always put Missouri first, and Missourians know they can count on me.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

I am committed to continuing the work that I’ve started in the Senate—everything from curbing sexual assault in the military and on college campuses, to reducing prescription drug costs, to protecting veterans. At a time when our politics have never seemed more polarized, I am committed to working with members of both parties to make progress and get things done for Missourians. I am not afraid to stand up to anyone – including members of my own party – to put the best interests of the people of Missouri first, and I will continue to work across the aisle to find common ground.

4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I am willing to work with anyone to get things done on behalf of Missourians. According to Congressional Quarterly, I had the 5th most independent voting record in 2017 and my Republican colleagues consistently praise me for my willingness to reach across the aisle. Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas said, “If you want to pick somebody to work in a bipartisan manner and get something done…You ask Claire McCaskill.” Together with my colleagues, I have successfully worked to get things done on issues like fixing the ACA, protecting seniors, lowering prescription drug costs, rolling back unnecessary regulations, fighting sexual trafficking, and curbing sexual assault in the military.

5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

The campaign does not disclose strategies, plans, or budgets related to our fundraising.

6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

During my time as Senator, I have made reforming our criminal justice system a priority. I was one of the first statewide elected officials on the ground in Ferguson, and I called for the de-militarization of police response to protesters and de-escalation of tensions. I also joined with Congressman Lacy Clay to introduce legislation to address police accountability in the programs that equip local police departments after Ferguson. I have also worked on legislation to reform the criminal justice system, cosponsoring the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017 to reduce mandatory minimums for drug offenses, and have strongly supported a top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system. I will continue working to make criminal justice reform a priority.

7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

When my feet hit the ground every morning, I’m thinking about how I can make progress for Missourians. And while I don’t believe it’s my job to fight the President – it’s my job to fight for Missouri – nothing will ever stop me from fighting back when President Trump does something that is not in the best interests of Missouri. That’s why I voted against the Republican tax legislation, which was a huge giveaway to drug companies and health insurance companies at the expense of everyday Missourians. I voted against Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And I have spoken out against the President’s tariffs, which would be devastating to Missouri farmers and our economy. I will continue to oppose any Trump Administration’s policies that hurt Missouri families while looking for opportunities to work together with Republicans when possible.

8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

Where there are opportunities to work with the Trump administration on priorities that will improve the lives of Missourians, I will do so. One area in which I have said I’m interested in working with the Trump administration is infrastructure. Since he took office, President Trump has also signed over 20 pieces of legislation that I have either helped to draft, sponsored, or co-sponsored. I am willing to put in the work to figure out where there is common ground and how we can get things done together.

9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)

If Hawley isn’t willing to do the hard work of Attorney General or stand up to his biggest donors and allies, how can we expect him to do anything differently in the Senate?

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