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OPINION

AG Eric Schmitt is Surging in the Missouri Senate Race

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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In March 2021, longtime Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) shocked the nation by announcing his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Naturally, this prompted a frenzy in Missouri. Today, there’s a crowded GOP field to keep the safe Republican seat. Of the many contenders, current Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is currently surging. With endorsements from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and syndicated radio host Dana Loesch, Schmitt is seeing Missourians flock to his campaign ahead of the August 2nd primary. I recently spoke to the 46th Missouri Attorney General for a wide-ranging conversation about his campaign and top priorities.

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How Schmitt Hopes to Stand Out From the Pack

AG Schmitt believes he’s best positioned to win the Republican primary and, ultimately, the general election in November.

“I've served as Attorney General, and it's been an honor of a lifetime,” remarked Schmitt. “Missouri has really been in the lead on a lot of those big [legal] fights— whether it's immigration, energy. We were the first state to file on the COVID vaccine mandates with OSHA— had a big win there.

He added, “The reason why I'm running for the Senate, I think all these big issues are going to roll through that chamber over the next decade. I think that we're going to be in the middle of the most consequential time— one of the most consequential times— in our nation's history. I mean, we're going to decide whether or not we're going to be the freest country in the history of the world or not.”

The candidate also threw shade on several primary opponents for being insufficiently conservative.

“I don't think you can keep sending the same people to Washington, D.C., right, and expect different results,” he claimed. “Some of my opponents have been there for a very long time. And their voting records [are] not exactly very conservative.”

“I think what separates me from the field is a lot of people are going to talk about things or have opinions about things. I've actually taken action. We've been fighting and winning against the Biden administration,” Schmitt elaborated.

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Schmitt on SCOTUS Leak 

During our conversation, AG Schmitt lent his thoughts to the events of Tuesday: the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization draft opinion leak from the Supreme Court. He referred to the incident as “unprecedented” but hopes the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade to return the abortion issue back to the states.

“I hope it is ultimately the final decision,” stated the pro-lifer. “It's certainly something that I've advocated for in our court filings in our cases and then also in the amicus brief that we filed on behalf of Mississippi and the Dobbs case.”

“Clearly, this was an attempt to intimidate. It is unprecedented,” he remarked. “It literally has never happened before in modern American history that a draft opinion like this would be leaked.”

A Proven Defender of Gun Rights

An avowed sportsman, AG Schmitt is optimistic the Supreme Court will favorably decide in the forthcoming New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen case to repeal outstanding may-issue firearms laws in blue states.

“I think the fact that they didn't take any Second Amendment cases before Justice Barrett came on might lead you to believe that there weren't five votes for something like this,” Schmitt told me. “Now they believe they have five votes because it only takes four to take a case. And, of course, it takes five to have a majority view on it.” 

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“We're very hopeful that since they've taken the Second Amendment case that it will get a favorable outcome. Missouri has been very involved with that. I'm proud of our work on it, so we’ll see” 

Pertaining to constitutional carry, Missouri officially adopted the policy on January 1st, 2017—a policy Schmitt supported as a State Senator. “You have law-abiding citizens that want to protect themselves and their families,” mentioned the gun owner. “It gets back to this fundamental question of people having the right to defend themselves. And, you know, the government restricting that in a way of not allowing people to do that is unconstitutional.”

In Missouri, Schmitt sees constitutional carry’s impact as “very positive” and claimed there is “certainly not an uptick in crime because law abiding citizens want to defend themselves.” 

Reining in Spending

The Republican candidate, if elected, desires to bring fiscal responsibility back to the U.S. Senate—including in the Republican chamber. “I think Republicans have to get their sea legs back on being fiscal hawks, and being fiscally conservative and not just voting for all these budget busting bills,” Schmitt declared. 

“One thing to do would be to pass a balanced budget amendment. I support that. We ought to pass that. We ought to structurally put things in place that don't allow Congress to keep spending money they don't have.

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It's a moral issue. You just can't keep pushing this debt on to the next generation over and over and over again and think that that's going to work out.”

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