Good evening. I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with you—and all of the Missourians watching at home.
One year ago, Governor Nixon stood at the same podium he was at moments ago and delivered a speech filled with hopeful rhetoric. He spoke of “seizing opportunities,” “outfox[ing] our rivals,” and “leading this nation to recovery.”
But here we are, one year later—and little has changed.
Here are the facts: our state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average, too many Missourians can’t find work, and the state is facing yet another round of severe budget cuts and reductions in basic services.
We haven’t “seized opportunities.” We haven’t “outfoxed our rivals.” And we are certainly not “leading this nation to recovery.”
In fact, a recent report by Creighton University in Omaha found that Missouri is lagging behind the national average in job growth.
This is unacceptable—and it’s time for the governor himself to take responsibility.
The time for fancy speeches is over.
You see: Governor Nixon has been AWOL on the issues that matter most to you and your family.
Sure, he loves the perks of the job—the ribbon cuttings, the prime seats at sporting events, the taxpayer-funded airplane—but he’s nowhere to be found on the troubles facing our state.
It’s become such a problem that a well-known St Louis columnist recently asked, “how quiet can a governor be?”
At a time like this, remaining silent is not the answer.
But that’s exactly what Governor Nixon has done. In fact, in 2009, he even refused to fight against the job-killing legislation making its way through Congress because he’s, quote, “not the lobbyist for the state.”
I believe that being governor means being Missouri’s LOUDEST advocate. Our biggest promoter—our strongest lobbyist. It means fighting for new jobs every day, not just when the cameras are rolling.
Most importantly, being governor means listening to Missourians.
I want you to know that Republicans ARE listening.
So instead of another speech, I want to spend time talking about the issues that matter to YOU.
Over the past week, I took to Facebook and Twitter and asked for questions from Missourians just like you. I asked you what issues mattered most, what topics you wanted to hear the governor address—and you responded.
We received responses from across the state, and one thing is clear: Missourians are concerned—concerned about the direction of the state, and worried about the future of our country.
Many of you asked about jobs and taxes and the economy. Others about health care, education or spending.
You proposed solutions, too: changes to our income tax, rooting out fraud and waste, and new ways to bring jobs BACK to Missouri.
Tonight, I would like to answer a few of the real questions asked by real Missourians.