It’s not unheard of for family members to support the opposition in political races, but it does present an interesting twist.
There’s added irony in the case of the Missouri Senate race due to the juxtaposition of the candidates’ backgrounds: Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine was raised with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, as an heiress to the Anheuser-Busch fortune. Republican Eric Schmitt comes from a working-class background — one in which his father worked the midnight shift at the very brewery from whence Busch Valentine’s fortune derives, and Schmitt himself gave tours and took out the trash at the Busch family estate, as detailed in Schmitt’s recent campaign ad:
On Monday, Busch Valentine’s brother, Billy Busch Sr., spoke at length with Dr. Gina Loudon on Real America’s Voice, setting forth the reasons he supports Eric Schmitt in this race, rather than his own sister. Video of that interview can be found here, beginning at around the 7:40 mark.
DR GINA COVERS GA GOV DEBATE https://t.co/CqTdUfMTKY
— Dr. Gina – RAV (@RealAmVoice) (@RealDrGina) October 17, 2022
To give some context, a brief Busch Family explainer: The brewery which would later become known as Anheuser-Busch was founded in 1852. It was purchased in 1860 by Eberhard Anheuser, whose daughter, Lilly, married Adolphus Busch in 1861. Adolphus Busch became president of the company upon his father-in-law’s death, in 1880. Adolphus and Lilly Busch had 13 children, including August Anheuser Busch. August and his wife, Alice Zisemann, had five children, including August A. Busch Jr., a/k/a “Gussie” Busch. Gussie helped build the company into the largest brewery in the world. In addition, he owned the St. Louis (baseball) Cardinals from 1953 until his death in 1989. Gussie had four wives and 10 children — seven of them with his third wife, Gertrude Buholzer. Trudy Busch Valentine and Billy Busch Sr. are two of the seven. (Forgive my semi-fascination with genealogy — for the TLDR set: Trudy and Billy are the great-grandchildren of A-B founder Adolphus Busch.)
Billy Busch, now 62, founded the William K. Busch Brewing Company, maker of Kräftig and Kräftig Light beers. They ceased operations in 2019, but announced a new endeavor in November 2021. Per St. Louis Magazine:
When William K “Billy” Busch discontinued production of his award-winning Kräftig and Kräftig Light beers in 2019, he told SLM: “Don’t count us out. This business is in my blood. We’re already considering new avenues. Stay tuned.”
Two years and one pandemic later, the great-grandson of Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch, is back in the beer business.
Now, the project is back on and has a name: Busch Family Brewing & Distilling. “We named it that because my whole family is involved, which means my wife and all seven kids,” Busch says. “That’s what makes it fun.”
This followed an MTV reality show for Busch and his brood:
A 10-episode reality show starring Busch’s family aired on MTV from March through May 2020. One of the plot lines for The Busch Family Brewed revolved around the planning of the brewery and distillery. Season 1 ended with the groundbreaking.
Over the course of his wide-ranging discussion with Loudon, Busch acknowledged that his relationship with his sister is strained — they’ve not spoken in five or six years. But he also laid out a number of reasons he questions her candidacy:
Dr. Gina Loudon: Billy, this Senate race in Missouri is going to be a big one, but you aren’t supporting who some might think you are in this race. Can you tell us a little bit about, first of all, your relationship with Eric Schmitt’s Democrat challenger, and why you decided to come on this show and talk about it?
Billy Busch Sr.: Well, first of all, I think that it’s very important that we…I think all the Senate races are very important — more than ever this year — just for our freedom. And I think it’s important for me to come on a show like this, with you, Dr. Gina, to speak out and speak up for our freedom in the United States. And I think it’s more under attack right now than ever before. And so I’m very, very concerned with what’s going on and with the…administration that Biden is running, and I really want to see Eric Schmitt win the Senate race here in Missouri — because of what he stands for, because he’s a Republican, and because I know that if the Senate…is won here in Missouri by a Democrat, like my sister, her votes are going to go for the Biden administration, and so that’s why…we need to win the House and we need to win the Senate.
Loudon: Well, one of the things that’s interesting about this is the Democrats always run as the little guy, as the blue collar, working class — Joe Biden is still trying to say that he is somehow this middle class, working class guy. But what was your sister Trudy’s life like growing up? Can you explain to me a little bit about the role she’s playing now and what might have been different, perhaps, about how she actually grew up — or how she actually lives?
Busch: Well, you know…we grew up very opulently, if you want to call it that. We grew up with a lot — we had a lot, and…we appreciate everything that we received, no doubt about it. But with Trudy — she was a little different, I think. I remember growing up, and watching her — even as an adult — I think she felt that…because we were Busches, that we were in a different class, and sometimes, she looked down on the middle class and the poor people and didn’t think they were good enough…for a Busch. I saw that happen a couple times. I saw, actually, one of my sister-in-laws told me that she said to her that she wasn’t a Busch — she only married into the Busches, but she would never be a Busch. You know, and I didn’t agree with that. I haven’t talked to my sister — I’ll be honest with you — in the last five or six years, so I don’t know if anything’s changed, but I do know how we grew up and I knew what she stood for then. So it’s a little perplexing to me why she’s running in the first place, and then why she’d be running as a Democrat.
Loudon: Tell us a little bit, too, because she’s advertising in her commercials that she has a nursing background. Did she work in nursing for a long time – does she work in nursing now? Can you tell us about her experience in that field that she’s touting as her career?
Busch: Yeah, she did work as a nurse. I know right after college – and she graduated from St. Louis University back in the early 80s, I believe — and she went to work for Mass General in Boston – I think she worked there for a year, maybe a little bit longer, and then she came back to St. Louis and…I don’t recall her ever working as a nurse much after that. I know she got married at a young age, had six kids, and raised a family after that, and she…loved being out on her farm and loved raising her family. And, you know, that’s the other thing I don’t understand – she tragically lost a son to…drugs, and…to be in the Democratic camp right now, when they’re opening the borders, when they let these illegal immigrants through, which – a lot of them are criminals, as we all know; they’re bringing in drugs…human traffickers are coming through, openly, and, you know, these drugs are killing people. And so, I just don’t understand. Now, I heard she was for closed borders, but it just doesn’t add up that she would be on the Democratic ticket.
Loudon: It’s interesting, though, especially, that you wanted to come on this program tonight and tell us a little bit about the truth about her. Why do you feel like she is not the right candidate to be in the Senate?
Busch: I think she’s inexperienced…I don’t necessarily believe what she says. I don’t believe anything of what a lot of the Democrats say. I think that there’s a lot of hypocrisy to the Democrat Party, at this point — especially the far left. I think she talks about bringing both parties together, and that’s exactly what Joe Biden did when he was running for president, and I don’t think we’ve ever been more divided in our country than we are right now. And I know how divisive she can be with our families, and with life in general. So, you know, again, I haven’t talked to her in five or six years, but still, I just don’t know if she’s changed that much…and really…I don’t know why she’s running. I don’t understand it – other than I know she was a big Hillary Clinton backer. She backed her in the 2016 election, and gave her a lot of money, and had a private event for her to raise money. But for her to be doing what she’s doing – I guess she’s got a calling, I don’t know what it is.
Loudon: So, you’re saying basically that you decided to come talk about AG Schmitt, and I believe, if I understand you correctly from everything that you’re saying, your support will go for Eric Schmitt – is that correct?
Busch: 100 percent, I support Eric Schmitt. I know that…he didn’t like the mask mandate during COVID and he was against that mask mandate policy. I was, too – it didn’t add up. Again, things didn’t add up when it came to that, and I think it was for control and power for the Democrats to really push that on people. I think they figured out that, now, that the science didn’t ever back that. I think he questioned the election integrity of 2020. I think…I can’t understand why people wouldn’t question the election in 2020, no matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, because it means so much. And there was a lot of funny business that went on that evening – I watched it very closely at home on TV, as they shut down these swing states and started counting ballots that came in by trucks, and all of a sudden – Trump’s ahead, and then Biden, at the end of the night, goes ahead because of all these ballots that came in…I don’t know for sure if it was ran afoul…or not, but I will say that there’s enough that went on that night to question it. So, I do respect Eric Schmitt’s stance on that, and I think he does back Trump and his policies.
I think if we look at what…we saw, as Trump being President of the United States and what we see now, it’s a night and day difference. I think every class – the middle class, the poor…were doing better during Trump’s administration, because now they’re…having to pay much more money at the gas station, they’re paying much more money at the grocery store. And so, it’s just…very difficult, especially on people like the middle class and the poor people, who Trudy seems to really back, yet she’s not being as affected by it – I know that. And I also she’s not being affected by all the crime, because she lives in a gated community…behind the fenced in area that encloses her house. So, she’s not being affected like these people in the cities are, with all this rampant crime that’s going on, that basically the Democrats are enabling. So, I think that Eric Schmitt stands up against all of that.
Loudon: And, from what I understand, Eric Schmitt is actually from a pretty blue collar background – not that you can’t run, obviously…a lot of people loved Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is somebody who definitely was raised with a silver spoon, but you see the manifestation in his children, like I do in your children, honestly, Billy, of hard work and a lot of the values that are at the core of America. But you’re telling me that, in Trudy, we have a candidate who grew up with chauffeurs, grew up with servants, and isn’t now able to understand the peril of everyday Americans who are going through a literal hell because of Joe Biden, and…it sounds to me like that’s what you’re fighting.
Busch: Well, I think you’re exactly right. I think it’s very hard for her to understand that because of the way she grew up – I grew up like that, too, but I was much more down to earth than she ever was, and…do I understand it completely? Maybe not. But I think I do. I think I have a pretty good handle on it — I run businesses, I’ve been out in the real world, making my way for quite a while now…so I see what’s going on out there. And, again, I just think it’s very important that we have a voice in this election, and we speak up for America, and speak up for our freedom and what this wonderful country – what the constitutions were based on. Because that’s how Trudy’s and my family got to where we are today. It was because of the American dream – and that is going away under the Biden administration.
In sum, Billy Busch describes Trudy Busch Valentine, as not only inexperienced, but out of touch with the issues that are plaguing everyday Americans, and likely to simply be another yes vote for the Biden administration — something that the majority of Missourians have signaled they do not favor. While it appears his relationship with his sister has been frosty for some time (and likely won’t be thawing anytime soon), Billy Busch has shared some interesting perspectives on Eric Schmitt’s Democrat challenger.