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Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Roy Blunt has started airing television ads about a month before Missouri's primary election. In a time of anti-incumbent sentiment appearing widespread across the nation, the ads do not mention Blunt's service as a Congressman.
In the advertisement that began running Tuesday, Blunt discusses his family history and prior jobs as a teacher and college president. He does not mention his political service, including having served in the U.S. House since 1997. Blunt held a small rally Tuesday morning in the rotunda of the Greene County Historic Courthouse in Springfield. “We’re launching our first political ad today—our first discussion that we paid for to put on the air about this campaign. And it talks about the kind of country we’ve lived in, and what that country can be,” Blunt said at the rally.
Blunt says in the ad that "irresponsible and crippling debt"have killed jobs and imperiled children's futures. He said it used to be that Americans were able to pass on their wealth to their children; now, they’re just passing down debt.
One of Blunt’s supporters at the rally was Jim Tygrett. He says he’s concerned that his grand children and great-grandchild, who just turned six months old over the weekend, will inherit this generation’s massive debt. He says he believes Blunt will make sure that doesn’t happen.“He has voted for responsible government and balancing the budget, or working toward that, to make sure that the spending is for the people, and not going in debt like we have seen. He has stood up against Nancy Pelosi. He…did his best, even though he was in the minority. He’s tried to get the message out and get the House of Representatives turned around. And I want him to take that message to the Senate,” Tygrett said. Protesters appeared at the rally with signs that said the event was paid for by Big Oil. A handful of them called themselves “Billionaires for Blunt,” sarcastically saying they supported the Congressman because he – quote – "will always stand up for the upper one percent.” -- end quote. Most of the protesters didn’t give their real names, but one man called himself "Ollie Garchy," and another woman said we could call her “Dee Regulation.”“When Roy talks the talk of Main Street, he drives a great pickup and he says he wants more jobs for people in Missouri, but we know how he really votes: He looks at us with a wink and a nod, and we wink right back, because we know where his loyalties lie,” she said. A more subdued protester was Josh Jones, a graduate student who came by himself. He said he’s bothered by Blunt’s record of receiving campaign donations from lobbyists who work for oil companies.“Roy Blunt, in his terms in Congress—in his many terms in Congress—has had many opportunities to vote for clean energy, and to vote for a direction that’s going to be positive for the US. But he’s continued to vote in favor, and in alignment with the big oil interests, which keep our country addicted to oil, and dependent upon oil, both foreign and domestic sources,” he said.Republican state Sen. Chuck Purgason is challenging Blunt in the Aug. 3 primary. Purgason started running radio ads last month that criticize Blunt. Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan also is running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Kit Bond.For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.