Josh Hawley Owes All Missourians an Apology

Josh Hawley’s inept campaign for the U.S. Senate has sunk so low that he’s now calling on Sen. Claire McCaskill to apologize for the comments of a veteran Capitol journalist.

Yes, that’s what it’s come to, folks. The Republican attorney general, who has no program, no vision and no principles upon which to stand, has become so desperate that he is blaming McCaskill for what I wrote on my website last week.

To those readers who may have missed it, I wrote Lying in the Age of Trump about how Hawley had lied in a campaign commercial.

McCaskill’s campaign drew attention to what I had written by sharing it on Twitter. McCaskill had no involvement in what I wrote, but that didn’t stop Hawley from calling on her to answer for it. This is a political ploy that Republicans are especially good at: take something completely out of context that your opponent did not say, and attribute it to her.

Young Josh, whose campaign has no platform, instead drives interest in it by diversion. He calls on McCaskill to apologize for something written by someone else.

If anyone should apologize, it’s me. But don’t hold your breath.

Here are the facts:

  1. Hawley used his son’s medical condition in a television campaign commercial to claim that he actually supported health insurance for people with documented health issues.
  2. But Hawley’s office joined with 19 other states in a suit in federal court to demolish the law that would in fact cover those pre-existing conditions.
  3. If that suit should win, people with those conditions could lose insurance protections.
  4. Hawley is now trying to hide from the fact that the lawsuit would in fact eliminate the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance.

My story did not call Hawley’s son a prop. It said Hawley was using his son’s medical condition as a prop. I’m sorry Hawley’s son has a medical condition, but it was Hawley who inserted this matter into his campaign. I don’t doubt that his son has such a condition, but I question Hawley’s commitment to protect people in the same predicament.

It might be better, instead of calling for an apology from Claire McCaskill, for Hawley to explain his position in the lawsuit. How does suing to end the Affordable Care Act mesh with the idea that Hawley supports health insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions?

Why can’t he simply tell the truth?

If I could guess, Josh Hawley has reached a moment of desperation in his campaign. On Sunday, the state’s largest and most respected newspaper endorsed Claire McCaskill for the U.S. Senate in a thoughtful, strong editorial, pointing out her long record of public service and her bipartisan voting record. The same editorial said of Hawley, “He is running a campaign from the gutter and is employing a shameful array of misleading tactics to make Missourians believe he’s someone he is not.”

This campaign commercial in which he–as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted–“stoops” to using his son’s medical condition, is an example of the deception.

Claire McCaskill supported the ACA when it was wildly unpopular and did countless meetings around the state facing voters directly over it. She’s had 52 town hall meetings throughout Missouri to explain her position.

Hawley, on the other hand, wants it both ways. He wants to oppose Obamacare to preen for his base and later pretend he didn’t hold that position now that it’s unpopular.

Hawley is upset that someone in Claire’s camp shared my story. But the story is true.

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