senate candidate Austin Peterson holds chicken in political ad

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Senate Candidate Austin Peterson Says No to Border Wall, Calls Hawley a Chicken

May 29, 2018 - 9:02 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Missouri Senate candidate Austin Petersen raised some Republican eyebrows this weekend when he tweeted that he doesn't support building a massive wall at the Mexican border.

“You can’t support 100 percent of everything everyone supports 100 percent of the time. You don’t even agree with your wife 100 percent of the time,” he says.

Petersen tells KMOX News that he believes in border security, but really takes issue with the cost and eminent domain involved with a wall.

 “Two thirds of the land that’s on the southern border is owned by ranchers or by private companies, so the eminent domain required for something like this I think will last longer than the term of any one president, even if he has two terms,” he says.

He says he supports the President on most things, but doesn't think we should fall into what he dubs a "cult of personality," where if you don't agree 100 percent then you get shunned. He says he supports decisions like pulling out of the Paris climate agreement and appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, but would oppose Trump signing the omnibus spending bill or adding new gun regulations.

Petersen is also touting a poll that shows he'd do better than Hawley head-to-head against McCaskill. He hopes the photo he took with a chicken he names ‘Josh Hawley’ takes advantage of the narrative that Hawley is a "GOP golden boy mailing it in."

“We have a lot of phone banking going on in Missouri, and people will be calling voters, and the voters will say ‘Is he the one with the chicken? Oh yeah, I’m voting for him!’ The chicken ad was just calling out Josh Hawley for being a chicken and not coming out and debating us,” he says.

Petersen says his campaign research shows 45 percent of Republicans in Missouri are still undecided between the two men.