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Echoing Concerns Of GOP Base, Purgason Positions Himself As True Conservative In Senate Primary

Last week, State Sen. Chuck Purgason spoke with KMOX' Mark Reardon about why he's running, his upstart campaign operation and how the disconnect between Roy Blunt's promises and his long record in Washington.

Though Purgason works hard to avoid mentioning him by name, he's clearly referring Blunt as "those people" who failed to "really set forth a conservative agenda" when they were "in leadership." Listening to the interview, it's clear that Purgason's campaign will parallel the many concerns expressed by other disaffected Republicans (or disaffected-turned-insider Republicans). Listen:

This part of the interview stands out:

PURGASON: I'm a like a lot of people, I get very frustrated with the direction of our party. You know, the top two planks in the Republican Party is a balanced budget and no earmarks.

And the people that we have running for office now were there at a time when we had an opportunity to really set forth a conservative agenda, a good fiscal course for the country.  And we blew it.

And those people were in leadership at the time -- record deficits. 

And when I was going out and working hard for Republican candidates, I was told if we ever get the presidency, if we ever get the House and Senate, we can begin the process of getting back to some fiscal sanity in our nation's government.  And that didn't hapqen. 

It's very frustrating to me that it didn't happen, and I don't see sending the same people back up into government again that failed on the promises that they made, you know, a few years ago.

REARDON: Sure, so do you think Congressman Blunt is part of the problem, not the solution?

PURGASON: You know, I believe that a candidate ought to follow the planks of his party about budgets, no earmarks.  I believe the TARP funding set forth the ability of government to pick and choose winners and losers in the free market system.  If you're a big company and have lobbyists, you're going to get a bailout.  If you're a small company and struggling, you're out of luck. I think it was exactly the bad, the worst thing we could have done. 

And I think anybody who represents the party of free markets, smaller government, would not have voted for things that expanded the size of government, and put governmenu into the business of competing on a day to day basis with small businesses.

Later in the interview, Reardon said, "I’m someone who on this very show, on KMOX, has expressed some concerns along the lines of what you’re talking about, and I haven’t had 100% confidence in Congressman Blunt." At the same time, Reardon described himself as a "realist" about Blunt's ability to raise large sums of special interest money.

Purgason promises that he's serious about the race. "We cannot continue the way we’re going right now," he said.

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