Claire Speaks

If you are sick of seeing negative political ads, you aren’t alone.

Sen. Claire McCaskill says she is disappointed the tone of her race against Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has turned so ugly and she is trying to focus on the real issues and her record.

The two-term incumbent Democrat made a campaign stop in Washington Tuesday afternoon, visiting with about 50 supporters at the Bryan Haynes Art Gallery.

McCaskill focused her stump speech on health care but also touched on dark money, workers’ rights and warned voters not to believe everything they are seeing in campaign commercials from her opponent.

“The advertising is false,” McCaskill said. “If you Google it, Josh (Hawley) has set a record for the number of false fact checks.”

On the health care front the senator focused on consumer protections, pre-existing conditions and Medicare prescription drug costs.

She also touted her fights for health care have made her an enemy of the large pharmaceutical companies.

“I have a dartboard and Big Pharma is right in the middle,” McCaskill said. “I also might be in the middle of theirs. I think a lot of the negative ads against me have been paid for by Big Pharma.”


Throughout this campaign, McCaskill has warned voters if they can’t figure out who paid for an ad, either for or against her, they shouldn’t believe it.

When asked about the current television ad claiming she is writing off voters in the Missouri Bootheel in favor of those in St. Louis County, McCaskill said her comments were taken completely out of context. 

“If you heard the next sentence out of my mouth, I said I would be working hard for every vote,” she said. “In fact, I’ve been to the Bootheel three times more than Hawley has. The Republican Party follows me and has hundreds of hours of tape of me talking. Then they search the tape for things to clip out.”

In a page out of President Trump’s playbook, McCaskill blames the media for focusing only on the negative or outlandish.

“It’s hard to get coverage for what we’ve done,” McCaskill said. “I’m not Kanye West or Stormy Daniels, but I’ve got a lot done.”


During her visit Tuesday, McCaskill also touched on two issues affecting Missourians at the state level.

She praised Missouri voters for voting down right-to-work in August, which would have allowed nonunion employees to work at companies without joining the Union.

She added the architect of the right-to-work movement was businessman David Humphries, who was also the main contributor to Josh Hawley’s campaign for attorney general.

In November, Missourians will also be asked to raise the state’s minimum wage.

McCaskill said she supports the proposition but her opponent does not.

“A race to lower wages is not good and he doesn’t believe in any minimum wage,” she said. “We want a middle in Congress and we want a middle in the economy.”


The race between McCaskill and Hawley is one of the most watched contests nationwide, with the Democrats vying to hang on to the seat in an overall effort to take control of the Senate.

Republicans see the seat as vulnerable and feel McCaskill can be defeated, which would solidify or strengthen their majority. 

According to a recent poll on The Missourian website, of the nearly 400 votes cast as of press time, McCaskill was leading 210 to Hawley’s 181.