Yesterday, USA Today reported that former Republican Senator Kit Bond openly criticized Josh Hawley’s lackluster Senate campaign, saying “If Hawley doesn’t gear it up and get with it, he’ll not beat [Claire]… I think a lot of people who want to see Hawley elected (are) wishing he’d get to work, doing fundraising and getting out and campaigning actively.” As a reminder, Bond was one of four former U.S. Republican senators from Missouri to sign a letter back in July 2017 urging Hawley to run for U.S. Senate.
Bond’s comments follow a disastrous week for Hawley, during which he released embarrassingly low fundraising numbers and blamed the 1960s for sex trafficking — prompting Republicans in Missouri to urge Congresswoman Ann Wagner to jump back into the race.
When Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley agreed to run for the Senate last fall, Republicans crowed that they’d snagged a top recruit and rising GOP star to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
But Republicans now seem to be a bit nervous about Hawley’s campaign.
“If Hawley doesn’t gear it up and get with it, he’ll not beat her,” said former Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, a top Missouri Republican. “I think a lot of people who want to see Hawley elected (are) wishing he’d get to work, doing fundraising and getting out and campaigning actively.”
Bond’s comments, made in an interview with USA TODAY, come as Hawley’s campaign hit a rough patch. The Kansas City Star reported last week that Hawley linked the current plague of sex trafficking to the sexual revolution of the 1960s, when women gained new freedoms and wider access to birth control and Americans’ attitudes about sex and gender changed.
…Those remarks made news around the same time that Hawley’s campaign reported raising $958,000 in 2017 and ending the year with about $1.2 million cash in the bank. McCaskill raised nearly $3 million in the 4th quarter of 2017, and she ended the year with a $9 million war chest.
The news even led to some speculation that Rep. Ann Wagner, a St. Louis County Republican, was eyeing the Senate race again, after deciding last year not to run when GOP leaders began wooing Hawley.
…Asked if he would like to see Wagner get in the race if Hawley doesn’t pick up his pace, Bond said: “Somebody’s got to get in there and win it.”