There may be no race more contentious in the upcoming midterm elections than the race for the Senate in Missouri. It is Attorney General Josh Hawley on the Republican ticket vs. Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Hawley touts the endorsement of President Trump, and paints himself as a conservative fighter, while McCaskill is painting herself as a moderate Democrat willing to cross party lines.
But in the first debate between the two, Hawley made it clear that he may be willing to cross conservatives, and the President on important issues like the Second Amendment and Right to Work.
On gun rights, Hawley touts his commitment to defending the Second Amendment, and support from the National Rifle Association. But at the same time he made it clear there are some gun control regulations he supports.
He starts off saying that “we need to do everything we can to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, out of the hands of folks who are dangerous, the mentally ill and unstable.”
While that statement isn’t very controversial, his solutions raise red flags from many gun rights supporters.
He proposes adding mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), saying that the current system “doesn’t allow folks to see, has there actually been a mental health incident in this person’s past.”
In non-politician-talk, Hawley is advocating for coercing states to turn over mental health records to the federal government. From there, those deemed mentally ill lose the ability to own firearms. But like a politician, he would almost certainly never tell you that.
This is a proposal pushed during the Obama Administration which has never become law.
The issues raised by gun rights supporters is that this would put law abiding citizens in the cross-hairs of the federal government, which has led towards opposition from groups like the National Association for Gun Rights.
Mental health has been used in the past to strip gun rights from hundreds of thousands of veterans. And more recently, former President Barack Obama attempted to do the same with Social Security recipients, until the Trump Administration blocked it from taking effect.
So when Hawley claims he strongly supports the Second Amendment, many gun rights supporters have reason to disagree.
But it wasn’t the only issue he disagrees with many conservatives on.
On the issue of a National Right to Work law, Hawley made it clear he would not be in support. This is despite the fact that President Donald Trump has pledged to sign the law if it reaches his desk.
Right to Work would ban the practice of compulsory union dues in employment.
Hawley’s opposition has less to do with his actual convictions, and more to do with a recent ballot measure on the issue that failed in the state of Missouri.
He cites a ballot measure voted down by Missouri voters in August which would have made the state a Right to Work state.
While the issue itself is very popular among Republican voters, unions and left-wing organizations rallied against it, oftentimes with deceptive ads.
So while among conservatives, Hawley is obviously the better candidate. But in his first debate he made it clear he may not be as conservative as he’s letting on, and created questions about if he would truly stand with President Donald Trump on issues like Right to Work.
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