Governor Nixon says disaster response to him was never political. He looks back at the tragedies that struck Missouri during the course of his term in office. Nixon has been faced with tornadoes, floods and wild fires. He says there are those who think it makes a convenient election platform, but to him, it’s about being a good leader while people are in need.
In an on-air interview with Missourinet affiliate station KZRG in Joplin, he says people aren’t thinking about Democrats and Republicans when facing tragedy, that they’re concerned about getting their lives put back together. He says his duty in that, in part, is bringing together local, state and federal resources to strengthen communities.
Nixon says disaster response may come from a chain of command, but recovery comes from the spirit of a community. He says he’s proud of the feats accomplished by Missouri’s devastated communities, hudreds of thousands of volunteers and the faith-based organizations that pulled people together.
He says in talking to voters throughout the state, most are focused on the economy, and while Missouri has a long way to go in making a full economic recovery, unemployment has dropped from 8.6 percent to 6.9 percent since he took office … and that’s encouraging. He says he thinks Missourians are focused on getting people back to work this election, and focused on keeping the state’s spending in check.
Nixon says if elected to a second term in office, he’ll continue to push for increased manufacturing investments in Missouri and improving people’s education so they can get higher-paying jobs. He calls Missouri’s economy diverse and complex, and feeding all parts of that economy is vital to success.
Nixon says his office focuses on the unemployment numbers as they come out each month, as well as the jobs added. He says the trend is positive and shows the state is moving in the right direction.
As for why Missourians should re-elect him to a second term, he says he’s made the tough decisions on where to reign in spending to keep a balanced budget, and not raising taxes. Nixon says he looks forward to working with the legislature in continuing that fiscal discipline for four more years and vows to continue doing what’s best for the state in a bipartisan manner.
He regrets he was not able to get a tax-credit reform package passed through the legislature during his first term, which is why he says he has called a special committee to again take a look at the various programs. He says making sure dollars spent on tax credits for the state are receiving the maximum return on investment, and those that aren’t should be eliminated or reformed.
AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:13)
AUDIO: Listen to the full interview with Darrin Wright on KZRG in Joplin (7:43)