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Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (And U.S. Senate Candidate) On Judge Kavanaugh

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HH: I am joined by Josh Hawley. He is the attorney general of Missouri. He is running for the Senate against Claire McCaskill. He is ahead. He is going to win. But I do want to talk to you, Attorney General Hawley. Good morning, welcome, good to have you.

JH: Thanks for having me.

HH: You are a trained prosecutor. If Dr. Ford, the accuser of Brett Kavanaugh, does not appear at the hearing at which she is invited to appear on Monday, and you were a member of the Senate, would you then proceed to vote for Judge Kavanaugh?

JH: Well, I have to say, Hugh, that I just am incredibly, incredibly concerned about this whole process in terms of where the Democrats have left us here, having sat on this letter from Dr. Ford, which I understand that at least Senator Feinstein had for months, having now asked for a public hearing under oath, which the chairman has given them, delaying the vote, willing to allow both parties a chance to testify. Now, they’re saying no, no, no, no, no, now that’s not enough, we want something else. So I think look, as I have said before on this subject, Dr. Ford should be allowed the chance to testify. I think the chairman’s done the right thing by doing that. Judge Kavanaugh should be allowed the chance to do so. But if Dr. Ford does not want to, I do think it’s time to move on and to move this process forward. I hope that she will come forward, and whether that’s publicly or privately, I understand that Chairman Grassley’s offered a private session to protect her privacy if she prefers, or offered a session with staff if she prefers that. I hope that she’ll avail herself of one of those opportunities. But I blame Democrats for this. The games they have played with this nomination have been just unbelievable.

HH: There is also an enormous cost to Judge Kavanaugh’s family, which I want people to remember. Nevertheless, he has agreed to testify if she comes on Monday, and people will have to then judge the credibility of both witnesses. The Washington Post has reported her story is at best in pieces. She doesn’t remember a lot. It’s been 30-plus years, maybe 35 years. You’ve prosecuted a lot of assault cases. How easy is it for people to remember what happened 35 years ago, going to the question of what Senator Hatch suggested, this could just be a mistaken identity situation?

JH: Yeah, it’s very hard to say without knowing more. I mean, and this is why I think again the chairman did the right thing by saying look, we will afford her an opportunity to be heard and to tell her story fully, and then for the judge to respond, for Judge Kavanaugh to respond. So you know, I think based on what we’ve seen in this letter, which again was withheld for months, I mean, this is the thing, Hugh, that is as you very well know, this process could have happened much, much sooner. It could have, there could have been a chance, Judge Kavanaugh could have been asked about this in his regular hearings, which were extensive. But the Democrats deliberately withheld this information until this 11th hour, and now they’re continuing to stall and delay. And I just think that it is making a mockery of this process, and they should be ashamed. This is exactly the kind of thing that voters in my state, at least, say is wrong with Washington, D.C. and needs to change.

HH: Now Attorney General Hawley, I am curious about this Washington Post story appeared on Sunday. The anonymous allegation appeared on Friday. And so we’ve known about Dr. Ford since Sunday. You’ve had two days on the campaign trail. I believe Democrats have seriously misjudged how this going to play. You know, if all they do is watch my network, MSNBC, they’re going to be cheering each other on and high-fiving. But what I hear when I go out and talk to people is disgust at the Democrats. What do you hear?

JH: Yeah, I hear the same. I mean, people are very, very upset by what they see as an ambush, especially as they learn that Democrats were in possession of this letter for months, that they deliberately withheld it. You know, Senator Feinstein’s behavior, quite frankly, is very, the best you can say about it is it’s very strange. But it looks to just be an ambush sitting on this when they had the chance to bring it up in the hearings, had the chance, after all, it’s not as if Judge Kavanaugh didn’t sit for questioning. I mean, he sat for hour upon hour upon hour over days. Witnesses were called. And I just think, people, I think, are bewildered and frustrated, and to now have the Democrats moving the goal posts again is, I just think it really is making a mockery of this process.

HH: Well, you and I have both done interrogatories, and you know you tend to make them expansive rather than narrow. They filed 1,600 questions with Judge Kavanaugh. He answered them all. Not one was about this allegation or this letter. What does that tell you, Josh Hawley?

JH: Well, again, I think that’s exactly, that’s a great point, Hugh, and I think it says that this is, the Democrats are certainly playing politics with this, playing games with this, which is unfair to everybody, by the way, including Dr. Ford. But I blame them squarely for this situation, and for playing politics with this nomination. It needs to stop. They need to treat this process with dignity and with fairness, and we need to move forward in an orderly fashion in the way that the chairman has proposed, which I think is fair to all sides, and then get this nomination done.

HH: Now there are three Senate races that the Republicans consider their top tier pickups – Rick Scott in Florida, Kevin Cramer in North Dakota, and Josh Hawley in Missouri. The most recent poll, the Trafalgar Poll, has you up three points. The average in the Real Clear Politics has you up .6. That’s terrible news for an incumbent like Claire McCaskill. And I want to play for you, the quality isn’t great, but she sounds desperate. She was doing some stumping in Missouri yesterday, and a restaurant owner says to her, there’s nobody at your volunteer headquarters. Here’s what Claire McCaskill said, cut number 5:

CM: Well, look, the DNC is not going to be funding my campaign. And the difference between a campaign office that is vibrant and full and one that isn’t is volunteers. So, and I will tell you we have struggled with volunteers in the first month. More so, we have 41 offices open across the state. We have 55 field staff that is on the ground in those 41 offices across the state, including one in every community that has a college campus. We have one in Del Mar in the city, we have one in Ferguson, we have one, we have a lot of offices open in the St. Louis region. And what makes an office hum is that volunteer that brings in her…right, is the volunteer that decides they’re going to hang out and you know, make it pleasant, make sure there’s plenty of toilet paper, and make sure that they are, they are to encourage people who are going out taking packets and hanging doors. We’ve had an amazing response of volunteers across the state. But I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We need more volunteers in Ferguson. We need more people showing up. And the office is open. You can come in, they’ll give you ideas about what you can do to help. We need more. And if you just want to come and hang out and give the office a friendly place, bring some music, make sure that when people walk in there they know that there are people there that are committed, we’d love to have you do that, too. That’s the difference…

HH: So Josh Hawley, she begins by saying the DNC is not funding my campaign. She has 55 workers spread across 41 offices. It sounds like, it sounds like a campaign in crisis and about to hit the ground.

JH: Well, and if you wonder about the lack of enthusiasm, just listen to that answer. I mean, who could get enthused about that? Or, Hugh, I think back to our debate on Friday. I had the chance, finally, Senator McCaskill agreed to a forum. You know, I’ve been challenging her to debate me for months. She finally agreed to a forum. We had a great airing out of the issues, and I have to say listening to her defend Washington, D.C., defend her terrible record in the U.S. Senate, and talk about all of the times she’s abandoned Missouri, I mean, it’s no wonder that people aren’t enthused to vote for her. We do have the momentum in this race. We are pressing ahead here, 48 days to go, and we are going to win this race. It’s going to be tight. It’s going to be tough all the way down. We need folks to support us, and I just urge anybody out there who wants to support us, go to We need your help. We need it now, but we’re going to win this thing.

HH: Now tell me about early voting. When does it begin in Missouri, Josh Hawley? How is your absentee chase program?

JH: We have a, we don’t formal early voting, Hugh, in Missouri. We just have absentee ballots that are available a few weeks beforehand, and historically not many votes are cast by absentee ballot in the state. So we’re sort of an old-fashioned, traditional state that way. Now we are, we do, of course, monitor absentee ballots, get those out to folks in the appropriate way, and as you suggest. But you know, we are that increasingly rare state that the real action is on election day, and that’s why I say we’re 48 days from today. We need all the help that we can get here down the stretch. So if folks go to, we would love your help.

HH: is where you can contribute and sign up. Last question, social media, of course, isn’t as obvious as television used to be. We used to watch for television campaign. I’m sure you’re up on television. We have a minute left. How is your social media campaign?

JH: You know, it’s robust, and it is such an important way, Hugh, to talk to voters, as you know, especially younger voters, but really across the age spectrum. And you know, we ask people to help us with that all the time, share information, videos and so forth, with their friends. We’re going to have a new video out today that will be running on social media about how much money Senator McCaskill has taken from the insurance industry. Do you know that she has taken more money from the insurance industry than any other member of the United States Congress, save one. It’s time for a change in Washington, D.C.

HH: Josh Hawley, we will talk again, General, and good luck. Go and sign up for the information. Go and contribute at

End of interview.


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