This morning Senator Claire McCaskill (D) held a campaign kickoff at Standard Sheet Metal in Kansas City. She spoke to a crowd of supporters, media, and plant workers with the backdrop of the shop and ongoing work continuing in the background.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): ....[applause][cheers] Good morning. [voices: "Good morning."] Good morning.... Today begins, uh, the most important part of this campaign. Uh, today begins the opportunity of Missourians to take a hard look at two very different visions of what our country is and should be. And I think it's really important that we're here today, in this business, talking about one candidate, Todd Akin, who is out of the main stream of Missouri. And that's not just a phrase that we're gonna toss around in this campaign. We're gonna show Missourians, we're gonna prove to Missourians that Todd Akin is out of touch with their problems, out of touch with the pain they feel, and out of touch with the views that they hold dear to them about what we are and what we need to be in America.
Now, I can start a lot of places with where Todd Akin is out of the main stream, but let's begin with Medicare. He has said that he doesn't even, he's not even sure it's constitutional. He wants to privatize Medicare. He wants to make seniors arm wrestle insurance companies for their health care. Not knowing whether their claim will be covered, not knowing if they're seeing the right doctor, not knowing if the insurance company will pay for the ambulance. He wants to put seniors in a position that they have to go in their own pocket for thousands of dollars a year just to get the basic medical coverage that Medicare provides them currently...
...Let's start with Social Security. He's said clearly, I don't like Social Security. Well, I've got news for Todd Akin, Missouri families need Social Security. Social Security is a contract that cannot be broken. He wants to privatize Social Security. What would we do with the seniors that chose the Madoff investment for their Social Security money? What would we say to those seniors? You're out of luck? You're on the street? Obviously, privatizing Social security is not in the main stream of Missouri.
And then there's student loans. He says student loans are something that the federal government should not have anything to do with. Think about that for a minute. What does that mean to Missouri families? That means that if you don't have the money to send your child to school you're child can't get a loan to go to school. Which means only the rich kids going to college. How does that change what America is? How's that change how the rest of the world views us as this wonderful beacon on the hill that is all about opportunity? It shuts down opportunity for most of Missouri families in terms of their kids going to college.
And then, minimum wage. I think that most Missourians believe that minimum wage is an important part of the government's rules. That there is a minimum amount that someone should be paid. Todd Akin doesn't believe in the minimum wage. Todd Akin is opposed to the minimum wage. He doesn't think that there should be any minimum wage. He thinks we should be China or India, where you could make two dollars a week if somebody wanted to pay you two dollars a week. That's not what we are in this country. We are about the middle class. Our economic success is tied to the strength and the stability of the middle class. I'm proud of my record of cutting taxes for businesses like this, for people like these people who stand behind me.
Um, and so, as we begin this campaign I want to tell the people of Missouri I'm going to work very hard. I know I'm an underdog in this race. I know you're sick of Washington. I know that you'd like to, things to be better overnight and you would like government to fix it. Let me just say, I think that we can continue on the path this country has always traveled, one about opportunity, one about making sure Social Security is there for our seniors, making sure that Medicare is there for our seniors, making sure that our kids can get student loans, and yes, making sure that workers are paid a wage that allows them to take care of their families. I'm proud of those positions. Todd Akin is out of the main stream. He will remain out of the main stream because he actually believes that these things need to go away, that we need to blow up these important contracts with Americans.
And so, um, I, I'm gonna work hard. Uh, I think Missourians know me well enough to know that I won't be taking a nap between now and November. I'm gonna go to every nook and cranny of this state, doesn't matter to me what shade of blue or red it is. I'm gonna make sure Missourians understand that this is about them, this is about their future, this is about the future of the middle class in this, in this state and the, and the strength of our economy based on that important middle class and the small businesses like we're in today.
And I'll be happy to take any questions....
The media question and answer session will follow in a subsequent post.