Senate Candidates Square Off In Debate

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Senate candidates Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley finally stepped on the same stage Friday for a debate hosted by Missouri Press Association. 

During this forum, they covered a variety of topics including the Supreme Court, healthcare and tariffs. 

But the debate didn’t happen on a flatbed truck like Hawley had suggested. It was a real stage, and the Republican and Democratic candidates also shared the stage with two other candidates – Jo Crain of the Green Party, and Craig O’Dear, an independent candidate.  

“I really appreciate the democracy that we are actually witnessing here,” Crain said. 

The first topic discussed – was how they’d vote on Supreme Court Justice Nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 

“I would vote no,” Crane said.  

Hawley said he would vote yes. 

“Brett Kavanaugh is a pro-Consitution judge, he’s the kind of judge that this state voted to put on the bench when we voted for Donald Trump by 20 points in 2016,” Hawley said.  

“Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court,” O’Dear said. “But is he the best choice? He’s not.” 

Sen. Claire McCaskill says she’ll make a decision shortly. 

“I am concerned with some of his opinions on dark money,” she said. “I’m concerned about some of the things I’ve found in the documents.” 

Protections for pre-existing conditions was brought up more than once during the forum. 

“I personally want to see Medicare for all,” Crain said. 

McCaskill said Josh Hawley’s lawsuit will take away protections that Missourians have against overreach by insurance companies, including pre-existing conditions. But Hawley says he wouldn’t take away coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“What we need to do is get rid of Obamacare, so that people aren’t forced to pay 145 percent increase in their premiums in order to get that pre-existing coverage,” he said. 

The candidates were then asked about tariffs and the trade war, which Hawley says was started by China. 

O’Dear agrees with addressing China but not with alienating other allies like Mexico, Canada, and the EU. 

“You do it by pulling those people together and joining you, in a consensus to put pressure on China to solve the problem surgically and effectively,” he said.  

McCaskill has similar views. 

“Our allies should be coming together to help us in China’s overreach,” she said. “We have ways we can go after China and their cheating, but hurting Missouri farmers and manufacturing is the wrong way to do it.” 

You can listen to the entire debate here. 
 

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