GOP Slate Wraps Up Statewide Bus Tour; Republican Candidates Seek to Rally Party's Conservative Base, Take Time to Hail Choice of Paul Ryan as Romney's Running Mate
Kevin McDERMOTT; Nicholas Jc Pistor, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
ST. PETERS - Missouri's new slate of Republican candidates for November finished a statewide joint bus tour Wednesday with stops in Fenton and St. Peters, whipping up the party faithful with vows to topple the state's Democratic incumbents and lauding new GOP vice presidential pick Paul Ryan.
At a mall storefront campaign office in Fenton, the candidates - including gubernatorial nominee Dave Spence, U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin, attorney general nominee Ed Martin and others - tore through a litany of conservative themes before about 200 enthusiastic Republicans before heading across the region to St. Charles County.
Akin, a sitting congressman who is challenging U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., acknowledged the importance of issues such as jobs and the economy. "But I'd like to suggest to you that these elections are about something bigger - freedom," said Akin, to applause.
He described President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act as an assault on the freedom of Missourians who don't want it. "Claire was the deciding vote for it," Akin said. "I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it."
McCaskill, too, has been couching the campaign in terms of broad philosophical differences about the proper role of government.
"I just think (Akin's) view is that the government shouldn't have any programs: We shouldn't have a minimum wage, we shouldn't have any farm programs," McCaskill said Wednesday morning during a campaign stop at Soulard Farmers Market to highlight her support of a federal farm bill that Akin opposes. "... I say balance, he says the federal government needs to get out entirely."
Spence, the GOP candidate for governor, was the owner of a bottle manufacturing company. He vowed to beat Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and bring his business experience to the governor's office. He derided Nixon as a "do-nothing" governor who brags about things like balancing the state budget, which he is legally required to do. …