US Senate candidates debate, discuss Supreme Court justice nominee

9 months 1 week 4 days ago Friday, September 14 2018 Sep 14, 2018 Friday, September 14, 2018 6:14:00 AM CDT September 14, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press and Jared Austin, KOMU 8 Reporter
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ST. LOUIS — Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and her Republican challenger, Josh Hawley, will meet in their first debate-style matchup in a race that has major national implications.

The two candidates started the forum talking about the Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Hawley said, "Brett Kavanaugh is a pro constitution 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."

McCaskill did not confirm which way she will vote in terms of Kavanaugh. "I'll make the decision shortly because I'm almost done going through [documents]," McCaskill said. 

Both Hawley and McCaskill spoke about the current immigration issues in the United States. Hawley called for the wall, while McCaskill just wants more advancements in protecting the border. 

Hawley did not shy away from talking about Claire McCaskill's husband's tax returns. 

"I'm not asking her to do something we haven't already done. Just to release her family's returns." he said. 

McCaskill responded by saying one other popular politician did not release his tax returns.

"The president decided not to breaking a long tradition in this country. There are several pages of finance disclosures of not only my finances, but my husband's finances," she said. 

When the debate was over, McCaskill and Hawley shook hands and McCaskill walked out of the room. Hawley stuck around and answered some questions from reporters. 

One question asked was about Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct in high school.

"We always take sexual misconduct very seriously, but I have to say based on what we know about it this just appears to be another stall and delay," he said.

Hawley is referring to the statement made by Sen. Diane Feinstein, a Democrat  from California. 

It is one of the nation's most closely watched races and among a handful expected to decide which party controls the Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage.

Hawley, the state's first-term attorney general, has the support of President Donald Trump. McCaskill is walking a tight rope in a state Trump won by 19 percentage points in 2016. She mostly touts herself as a moderate who supports the president when it benefits Missouri and opposes him when it does not.

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