SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s Republican and Democratic U.S. Senate nominees on Thursday framed their campaigns around their support for or opposition to policies backed by President Joe Biden as they vied for farmers’ votes at the Missouri State Fair.
Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine met for the first time and shook hands at the Governor’s Ham Breakfast, a longstanding tradition that is considered a must-attend for Missouri candidates.
John Wood, a Republican running as an independent with substantial financial backing from former GOP Sen. John Danforth’s super PAC, did not attend. His campaign said he planned to visit the fairgrounds over the weekend.
After winning a competitive GOP primary Aug. 2, Schmitt this week launched his first attack ad slamming Valentine for aligning with Biden on what congressional Democrats call the “ Inflation Reduction Act.” Biden signed the bill into law Tuesday.
The measure includes the biggest investment ever in the U.S. to fight climate change, a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients and a new 15% corporate minimum tax to ensure big businesses pay their share. Billions of dollars will be left over to pay down federal deficits.
Valentine, a 65-year-old heiress to the Anheuser-Busch fortune and retired nurse, on Thursday said she supports the legislation, particularly the Medicare cost cap.
Schmitt’s ad said Valentine “endorsed Biden’s socialist agenda lock, stock and barrel” and supported his “wasteful spending that created this inflation crisis.”
“She came out in support of this inflation-boosting bill,” Schmitt told reporters Thursday. “Part of that is the Green New Deal, which will be a disaster for agriculture.”
The two candidates also touted their views on agriculture policy in an attempt to win farmers’ votes as they visited the fairgrounds.
“My record has been very clear: fighting for farmers to get this big, oppressive government out of the way,” Schmitt said. “Let them do what they’re supposed to do and feed the world.”
Valentine noted her ties to Grant’s Farm, which her family owns.
“I am for Missouri farmers and for raising our food that we give to others in Missouri,” she said. “I’m not for the big monopolies that are taking over all these farms.”
By SUMMER BALLENTINE, Associated Press