Bridgeton, MO – Former Vice President Joe Biden visited Machinists District 9 Hall here Wednesday to campaign for Sen. Claire McCaskill, 2nd Congressional candidate Cort VanOstram, who is hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Ann Wagner, St. Louis County Prosecutor candidate Wesley Bell and other Democrats declaring “unions built the middle class.”
Biden never mentioned President Donald Trump by name during his 42-minute speech but it was clear when he warned of the nation being led into an era of incivility and meanness who he was talking about.
“There is something different about this year’s elections,” Biden told a crowd of more than 1,000 people into packed the Machinists hall. “This year’s election is bigger than politics… the character of our country is on the ballot.
“Hate will continue to grow if we do not speak up, and speak out,” he said. “Our children are listening. They are listening, they are watching, and it is having an impact on them.”
“The words of our leaders matter,” Biden said. “Folks, silence is complicit in it. Folks, we will not be silent.”
GET OUT AND VOTE
Biden urged union members and supporters to get to the polls – and to get their friends, neighbors, and loved ones to do the same.
"Claire doesn’t need my help, but that’s why I’m here,” Biden said. “Because you have one of those people, one of those unique people in the United States Senate, who does all of those things: Claire McCaskill. She gets it. She doesn’t forget. My dad used to say half of the battle is showing up. She knocks on your door, she goes to the diner, she shows up at the State Fair. She shows up where people are to listen to what’s on your mind. She talks to Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, black, white, Asian, it doesn’t matter because she knows she represents everybody."
McCaskill touted her clear record of working with members of both parties to strengthen our health care system, bring down the cost of prescription drugs, and fight for higher wages.
"Like me, Joe is somebody who might not have grown up in a fancy house or gone to the fanciest schools – he's someone that's spent his career being a champion for folks trying to make ends meet and give their kids a better life,” McCaskill said. “He understands what's at stake in this election and how critical it is for people to get themselves and their loved ones to the polls."
WORKING ACROSS THE AISLE
McCaskill has a clear record of working across the aisle to get results for Missourians.
President Trump recently signed legislation sponsored by McCaskill to repeal the pharmacy gag clause, so pharmacists can tell consumers if their prescriptions would be cheaper by paying out-of-pocket, and her legislation to bring greater oversight to air ambulance costs is currently on the President's desk waiting for his signature.
McCaskill also introduced bipartisan legislation to address unfair Medicare reimbursements, allow pregnant women to buy health insurance year-round, and allow states to help small businesses by changing the definition of a “small group market."
McCaskill has been a consistent supporter of efforts to raise the federal minimum wage, and supported bipartisan legislation that successfully provided tax credits to small businesses that hired workers who had been unemployed for more than six months.
HAWLEY: ‘INCOHERENT, UNWORKABLE’
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is challenging McCaskill with the backing of a network of dark-money donors, used Missouri taxpayer dollars to file a lawsuit to remove all of the current consumer health care protections, including protections that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to nearly 2.5 million Missourians with pre-existing conditions.
Hawley's lawsuit would also remove protections for Missourians who are on their parents' health insurance plans and reopen the Medicare Part D donut hole.
Hawley's proposal for protecting those with pre-existing conditions has been slammed by newspaper editorial boards as "incoherent," "unworkable," and "doesn't deserve to be taken seriously."
Keeping to his party’s themes, Hawley recently again stated his opposition to even a modest increase for Missourians earning minimum wage.