Cruz stumps in St. Charles County for Schmitt’s Senate bid

As he neared the end of his speech at a packed up St. Charles County Banquet Hall on Saturday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out that he has specific criteria when endorsing Republican primary candidates.

Cruz said they had to be conservative and have a chance to win. Attorney General Eric Schmitt ticks both of those boxes, he said.

“If you’re really conservative, you’ll wear the stripes. You will carry the scars, because you fought,” Cruz said. “I support Eric Schmitt because he stood up and fought for the men and women of Missouri over and over and over again.”

Cruz praised Schmitt for his lawsuits against items on President Joe Biden’s agenda and school districts that implemented COVID-19 mandates. He also said a victory for Schmitt on Aug. 2 will ensure that the Missouri Senate seat remains in Republican hands.

Brian Munoz

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St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, cheer during a Saturday rally with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“When Eric wins a week from Tuesday, I think the Democrats will be so demoralized that they’ll take the money out of the state,” Cruz said. “Because they know they can’t beat Eric in November.”

Even though Missouri has moved strongly toward the GOP in recent election cycles, some observers worry that if former Gov. Eric Greitens wins the primary, it will put the seat in jeopardy. Greitens has had an outrageous gubernatorial term and he is fending off further attacks over accusations he abused his ex-wife and son – which he has denied.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher. We need the majority,” Schmitt said. “But we also need people who are going to go out there and be disruptive and fight for you and never back down. And that’s why I run. Being the most popular person in Washington doesn’t interest me at all, I don’t care about going to cocktail parties. I will fight for you.

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Brian Munoz

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St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running for the Missouri Senate open seat, speak to supporters Saturday in Cottleville.

Greitens’ supporters have pushed back against the idea that he can’t win a general election, saying GOP insiders actually fear that Greitens will get a national platform that includes criticism of the Republican Senate leadership.

Greitens and U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler stepped up their attacks on Schmitt’s record in the Missouri Senate. Among other things, they criticized Schmitt’s plea for a so-called Chinese hub aimed at increasing international trade at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

“There are others in this race who talk like they’re tough on China,” Hartzler said Friday during a campaign stop in Lake St. Louis. “But they were really lenient with China.”

After Cruz’s speech, Schmitt dismissed this criticism.

“These attacks totally misrepresented my case,” Schmitt said. “I will continue to fight for an American-first agenda – for American jobs, energy dominance, more exports.”

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Brian Munoz

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St. Louis Public Radio

Abortion rights protesters shouted, “Blood is on your hands,” at Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Saturday during a rally in Cottleville for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

Against Cruz and Schmitt

Two demonstrators interrupted Cruz’s speech by shouting, “Ted Cruz has blood on his hands”, before being escorted out of the event. Cruz then said, “There’s actually a simple way to keep angry lefties out of a room, just hand them a job application,” and he continued his remarks.

Several dozen protesters decrying both Cruz’s and Schmitt’s stance on abortion rights lined up outside in temperatures approaching 100 degrees.

Missouri banned most abortions after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Schmitt signed documents bringing the state’s “trigger ban” into effect.

“I believe there is going to be a backlash because there will be a lot of people voting to try and put things back where they were,” said one of the protesters, Manchester resident James Robinson.

TJ Moe, a former University of Missouri-Columbia football player and Schmitt supporter, alluded to the protesters outside during his introductory speech.

“I don’t know if you notice the protesters outside, but they’re there specifically because six minutes after Roe was overthrown, our attorney general declared Missouri the first pro-life state,” Moe said. “I mean, the worst thing you can accuse Eric Schmitt of doing while in office is trying to save America.”

The three leading Democrats running for the Senate nomination, Spencer Toder, Trudy Busch Valentine and Lucas Kunce, have all criticized the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Toder and Kunce want to get rid of the Senate filibuster so Congress can pass legislation legalizing abortion everywhere.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

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