As in other US states, in Missouri, Democrats and Republicans are currently nominating their candidates for the midterms, the "intermediate elections" for Congress and parts of the Senate, at the beginning of November. They do this in internal party primaries, the primaries. The same applies to the Republicans: if you really want good career prospects in the Grand Old Party (GOP), you need the support of ex-President Donald Trump. And he enjoys the role of the leading figure in his party; likes to announce in big words who he considers a "MAGA champion" and therefore supports him.
In Missouri, "Eric" is Trump's man. A champion implementing the Make America Great Again agenda. A "true warrior in the US Senate" who does not "shrink from the maniacs of the far left who are destroying our country," as Trump said in a statement. Former governor Eric Greitens, a staunch Trumpist, immediately responded enthusiastically: "I'm honored to have President Trump's support! We're going MAGA!" He tweeted happily. It's all over for Greit's inner-party adversary, Missouri's Attorney General Schmitt. If you think so. But what did he say? "It is truly an honor to have President Trump's confirmation in the Senate race." The solution for twice the relief: Schmitt's first name is also Eric.
Whether it was a typical Trump faux pas or whether the ex-president deliberately incited both Erics – that left the ex-president's camp open despite inquiries from the US media. The two Erics didn't dwell on the question for long anyway and made it clear which of them is the true "MAGA warrior", the "trumpier" candidate. Schmitt made it clear that he was "the only Amercia First candidate in this race". Addressing the ex-president directly, he looks forward to restoring the America First agenda “with you.” Greitens, on the other hand, attacked his opponent head-on: "From the start I was the true MAGA champion fighting the RINO [Republican in Name Only, ed.] establishment that supports Schmitt." Trump himself described Schmitt's election campaign as "great dishonesty in politics".
A tug of war over who gets to bask more in the ex-president's affection. There is probably another reason why Greitens approached his opponent so directly. Recent polls see Schmitt clearly ahead in the inner-party race. Because the ex-governor is accused of child abuse. His ex-wife accused him of abusing both her children and the couple's children. Some of the cases are said to have occurred during Greitens' tenure as governor, which ended in his resignation in June 2018 after reports of sexual assaults on his hairdresser at the time became known. Missouri's Republican senators have asked Greitens to withdraw his candidacy.
Aside from the very serious allegations, conservative Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler made fun of the bickering between the two Erics. She brought in a largely unknown, hopeless Republican Senate candidate. His first name, of course: Eric! "Congratulations to Eric McElroy," she wrote in a statement released by her campaign manager. "He's having a great night." Or did Donald Trump mean this Eric at the end?
Quellen: "The Hill"; Twitter-Account Eric Greitens; Twitter-Account Eric Schmitt