Missouri Republican Josh Hawley is hitting the television airwaves on Monday ahead of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court announcement to tout his personal experience with the high court and label Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill a liberal.
The ad, Hawley’s first television ad of the cycle, pressures McCaskill to support Trump’s nominee, who will be unveiled Monday night. Hawley, who narrates the ad, predicts McCaskill will not support the nominee because she "wants liberals in charge."
"The eyes of the nation are on Missouri, we decide which values control the Senate, and the Supreme Court," Hawley says. "McCaskill wants liberals in charge, that’s how she votes. That’s not Missouri’s way, and it won’t be my way."
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The Supreme Court vacancy opened up by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement has presented an opportunity for Hawley, who formerly clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts.
"The Supreme Court is a pivotal issue in this race," Hawley said about the ad. "I know the importance of the Court because I've worked there. I've litigated there."
"Missourians want a justice who will faithfully follow the law the people wrote," he said.
"Claire McCaskill has endorsed activist liberals every time. She needs to finally make a break with Chuck Schumer and represent the people of Missouri."
This is not Hawley’s first attempt to make supporting Trump’s nominee for the court an issue in the race.
His campaign has already set up a website chronicling McCaskill’s previous Supreme Court confirmation votes, pointing out her support for all of President Barack Obama’s picks and her vote against Neil Gorsuch.
He has also challenged McCaskill "to participate in a debate that focuses on the issues the Court recently ruled on, future matters that may come before the body, and her explanation of why she has only supported liberal judges and opposed conservative ones."
McCaskill, given her position as a Democrat running for reelection in a state won by Trump, is believed to be one of the senators who may come across the aisle to support the eventual nominee, but signs thus far point to her siding with Democrats who’ve stated they will oppose any nominee.
The New York Times wrote over the weekend that McCaskill is "highly unlikely to back any Trump nominee despite the political risk."