Interview
with Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri
A Reputation for Integrity 
John Ashcroft spoke briefly with DEMOCRACY IN ACTION in Cedar Rapids on June 12, 1998 while serving ice cream to Republican activists during the Iowa GOP's "First in the Nation Gala."
Ashcroft | News
  • QUESTION What is your first political memory?

  •  
  • QUESTION Was there somebody who was particularly helpful or influential in getting you started in politics? 

  •  
  • QUESTION What do you remember about your first campaign for public office?  

  •  
  • QUESTION What has been your most satisfying accomplishment as an elected official? 

  •  
  • QUESTION What has been your greatest disappointment as an elected official? 

  •  
  • QUESTION Describe a defining moment in your life. 

  •  
  • QUESTION Do you have a framework, a formula, or a set of criteria for thinking about the proper role of the federal government?

  •  
  • QUESTION Are there any aspects of the process by which we elect our president that you think should be changed? 

What is your first political memory?

ASHCROFT: My mother would sometimes go and work at the polls for the county. 
 

 


Was there somebody who was particularly helpful or influential in getting you started in politics?

ASHCROFT: I think the congressman from the 7th District of Missouri, Durwood Hall, he was from my home district...he was a person who stood for principal and was not afraid to stand alone... 
 

 


What do you remember about your first campaign for public office?

ASHCROFT: I remember a lot of people really worked hard to help us.
 
 

 


What has been your most satisfying accomplishment as an elected official?

ASHCROFT: Well I'd have to say probably maintaining a reputation for integrity, and leading in that respect to balancing the budget and creating a rainy day fund in my state without raising taxes.
 

 


What has been your greatest disappointment as an elected official?

ASHCROFT: I don't know; I don't remember disappointments very long.
 

 


Describe a defining moment in your life.

ASHCROFT: When I gave my heart to the Lord and when I married my wife Janet, those are two of 'em.
 

 


Do you have a framework, a formula, or a set of criteria for thinking about the proper role of the federal government?

ASHCROFT: The government, all governments, exist to help maintain an environment in which people prosper, in which people grow, in which their enterprises grow, but not in which government grows. And we ought to ask ourselves, what does this do in a framework of freedom that will provide an opportunity for the growth of individuals, their institutions, for citizens, their corporations...how do they succeed? That ought to be the test of government. 
 

 


Are there any aspects of the process by which we elect our president that you think should be changed?

ASHCROFT: I think the American people are the people who will decide how presidents are to be elected and I am very pleased to rest with their judgement on that. People need a good long look at those who offer themselves for this kind of service. 
 

Copyright 1998  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action

 
 
 
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