ARNOLD, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt officially began his re-election campaign Friday with a call to reduce regulations and let American companies "start making things again."
Blunt, 66, spoke at Unico-SGI manufacturing plant in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold. It was the first of a two-day, 10-stop tour across the state. The Republican is seeking his second term in the Senate after serving in the House from 1997 to 2011, representing southwest Missouri.
Blunt faces a political newcomer, Christopher Batsche, in the August GOP primary. His likely opponent in the November general election is Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.
During his speech at the plant, Blunt cited his successful efforts to pass regulation-reducing legislation that helped business like Unico thrive.
"We need to get back to a situation where we have good jobs, where working families can not only survive but improve and advance," Blunt said.
"It's really time for Americans to start making things again," Blunt added, expressing confidence that America's "better days are ahead of us."
Blunt was critical of President Barack Obama, focusing especially on the health care reforms pushed through by the Democratic president's administration.
"Clearly the health care system wasn't perfect before Obamacare, but there were better solutions that worked in the real world," Blunt said.
Blunt planned additional stops through Saturday in Kansas City, St. Joseph, La Plata, Hannibal, Joplin, Springfield, Columbia, Poplar Bluff and Cape Girardeau.
Kander's campaign manager, Abe Rakov, said Washington won't change "if we keep electing the same career politicians." He said Kander "represents a new generation of leadership who will put service to country ahead of partisan politics."