I began by asking him if he still stands by some of the votes he made as a Republican, including a crucial 2005 vote to cut and revamp the Medicaid program.
The interview, which runs seven minutes, can be seen HERE.
On the Medicaid issue, Koster said he regrets looking so closely at the "bottom-line" cost, and not enough at the human cost. But he doesn't appear to back away from his vote at the time.
Question: So was that a bad vote?
Koster: The budget in 2005 was in crisis, there was something that had to be done . . .
Koster only said he regrets "missing opportunities" to rebuild the program.
Question: So you stand by the decision?
Koster: In 2005, I made the decision that had to be made.
Question: But if you had to vote again today, would you have made that vote?
Koster: In 2005, you know, I've gone through this with you . . .
Question: Well I don't understand. I'm trying to understand. If you had to vote again for the Medicaid cuts, would you vote for them today?
Koster: In 2005, I would've demanded a different plan be brought forward.
Koster goes on to say he would have supported a plan that would have brought Medicaid recipients back online and crack down on provider fraud. But he still never said his actual vote was the wrong one.
Maybe I'm missing something here? But the Democratic party will be running on the Medicaid issue on several levels next year (statewide/local). They'll be hammering away on Republicans for the cuts. Koster is now expected to enter the race for Attorney General on the Democratic side. Does it matter if he's in sync on this issue with his new party? You tell me if Koster answered the question, and if it even matters to you?
***(Coverage Note: If it looks like we went nuts covering Koster today, we did. But he was the only statewide candidate to appear at the Labor Day picnic. And yes, the Labor picnic is predominantly a Democratic event. Since Labor Day is also a holiday, there's also a lack of other news, so we could spend more time at the event, and on these stories. Other days, when politicans are in town, or stumping, we may not be able to get to them due to other news priorities. But I strive to cover every politician who is in Springfield. It doesn't always work out that way, but that's the goal.)***