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2018 Midterms

Exclusive: Missouri GOP Senate candidate Austin Petersen tells BLP he backs Trump



A former Libertarian presidential candidate and current Republican Senate candidate aligned himself with most of President Donald J. Trump’s policy decisions in an interview Wednesday with Big League Politics at the Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“When the president says he wants to cut spending, cut taxes, cut regulations and overturn Obamacare I’m 100 percent with the president,” Austin Petersen, said the Missouri resident.

Several students at the SAS Summit agreed with Petersen’s assessment of Trump’s performance as president.

“I think the tax cuts were a huge deal,” said Cameron E. Wallace, a college student from Washington.

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Caleb D. Tolin, a student from North Carolina, said he was convinced Trump’s massive cut of business regulations has been beneficial to the economy.

Petersen debated about marijuana legalization at the Student Action Summit, a Turning Point USA conference which has an attendance of 3,000 college students from across the world this year.

Petersen said when the president does something different than candidate Trump promised, like calling for an increased troop surge in Afghanistan, that is where the Senate hopeful breaks with Trump.

Petersen’s Republican primary opponent is Missouri Attorney General Joshua D. Hawley.

The candidate said the Republican establishment in Washington, particularly Senate Majority Leader A. Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr. (R.-Ky.), have thrown all of their weight and support behind his primary opponent.

“My opponent has access to infinite funds while my campaign is completely grassroots run, which is a significant challenge,” said Petersen, who has raised $300,000 in private donations.

Petersen said he is a man of the people, and he plans on using his understanding of the average voter, as Trump did, to win his election.

He also has significantly more time to campaign than Hawley, considering Hawley’s full-time job as Missouri attorney general, he said.

The candidate, who finished second before the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nominee Gary Johnson, said he will use his time-advantage to reach as many more voters as possible.


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